Every so often, a phone rings in the office of Franklin & Marshall’s Archives and Special Collections on the first floor of the Martin Library. The caller might be an F&M graduate, or a family member or friend of one. They call with a question: “Would you be interested in…”
For Associate Librarian Christopher Raab and Research and Collections Management Specialist Michael Lear, the answer is usually a resounding “yes.” As keepers of the College’s historical record, they often hear from members of the F&M family who have artifacts in their closets, attics and dusty shelves that help tell the story of Franklin & Marshall College. They are passionate about preserving—and adding to—the visual and written record of the College and its alumni.
The holdings of F&M’s archives include more than 8,500 rare books, the oldest dating to 1481; papers of prominent Lancaster County families, organizations, and F&M alumni; and collections of maps, prints, posters, newspapers and photographs. The vault contains more than 2,300 linear feet of material—longer than seven football fields—in the depths of Martin. The items on the following pages are only a few of many that help tell the story of the College, its people, and its tradition in the liberal arts.