In the wake of Marlboro College’s alliance with Emerson College, one of the outstanding concerns of community members has been the future of archives housed in Rice-Aron Library, including the Plan Room housing decades of original student work. There were concerns about these valuable artifacts leaving Vermont, or being inaccessible to those interested in exploring Marlboro history. In June, the college was pleased to announce that their archives and special collections would be going to the University of Vermont, where they will be carefully curated and made publicly available into the future.
“We are thrilled to have our invaluable archives going to UVM, where they will join historic collections from several other Vermont colleges,” said Kevin Quigley, Marlboro president. “As an urban campus, Emerson College does not have the capacity for our extensive collections to remain a public resource, and it has been extremely important to many in our community that the collections remain in Vermont, with easy access.”
“I’m very pleased Marlboro’s archives are staying together and heading to UVM, where they will be well cared for by a team of archival professionals and made available to interested researchers,” added Amber Hunt, interim library director. As part of the agreement, the collections will remain open to the public for use.
One of the most valuable parts of the Marlboro College archives collection is more than 2,500 Plans of Concentration submitted by graduating students and spanning from the early 1950’s to present day. These remarkable works represent the range of creative and scholarly exploration by Marlboro students over the years, and remain the clearest legacy of the college’s student-centered pedagogy. Each Plan is professionally bound and cataloged, including digital copies, and the copyright for each remains with the alumni authors.
The collection also contains a variety of other materials, including college catalogs and handbooks, The Citizen student newspaper, Potash Hill magazine, yearbooks, scrapbooks, and historical college ephemera. It includes documents from the college’s early history, and recordings from campus events including concerts featuring notable musicians such as Blanche Moyse and speakers like Loren Pope and Saul Bellow. There are also oral histories of alumni from the college’s first few graduating classes, faculty and alumni publications, and photographs of campus life dating back to the mid-1940s and continuing to the present time.
“The University of Vermont’s Silver Special Collections Library is pleased to be able to provide a home for the Marlboro College archives,” said Chris Burns, curator of manuscripts and university archivist. “Marlboro’s legacy of a high quality, small-scale, egalitarian, and individualized approach to education will continue to live on in the college archives that will be preserved and made accessible at the University of Vermont. Our special thanks go to our friends at the Marlboro College Library who collected and organized these records over the years.”
“At a time when small colleges in Vermont—and indeed across the country—are struggling to exist, we can’t underestimate the importance of protecting our invaluable archives in perpetuity,” said President Quigley. “While other colleges have been forced by economic expediency to auction off or abandon their collections, Marlboro College is very pleased and grateful that UVM will be providing an appropriate home for these historic resources.”