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Located on the east side of second level of the library (facing Kirk Residence Hall) next to the library office, the Archives/Rare Books Rooms are where college historical documents and materials that are rarer in nature are kept. These areas are available by appointment only. More information about the Archives.
By Floor Level
Bound Periodicals Collection; Microforms; Lower Level Index Collection
Reference Collection; Reserves Collection; Current Periodicals; Newspapers; Current Reading Collection; (bestsellers, hot topics), Sound Recordings; Small Popular DVD Collection
PR-Z call numbers, General Collection Stacks; Oversize and Super Oversize Collections; Wood (Children's/Juvenile) Collection; Archives & Rare Books (limited access, by appointment only)
HM - PQ call numbers, General Collection Stacks
A - HL call numbers, General Collection Stacks
Collections PolicyFor more information about our collection development policy, please our Collections Policy page.
Film, Video, DVD Collection
The Library maintains a collection of more than 9,000 film and video titles.
By far the largest collection in the library is the general collection, or Mac Stacks. The general collection is located in the center of second, third and fourth levels. They are arranged by Library of Congress call numbers (using both letters and numbers) beginning
with the A's on the north end of fourth level to the Z's on the
south end of second level. Here is the general breakdown of what
call numbers can be found on which level:
Level 2 - call numbers beginning with PR-Z
Level 3 - call numbers beginning with HB - PQ
Level 4 - call numbers beginning with A - HB
The Reference Desk on the first level has bookmarks/handouts available which assist users in finding library materials. The Library also provides access to collections of electronic books, or Ebooks.
Bound Periodicals Collection; Microforms; Lower Level Index Collection. Map
Reference Collection; Reserves Collection; Current Periodicals; Newspapers; Current Reading Collection; (bestsellers, hot topics), Sound Recordings; Small Popular DVD Collection. Map
PR-Z call numbers, General Collection Stacks; Oversize and Super Oversize Collections; Wood (Children's/Juvenile) Collection; Archives & Rare Books (limited access, by appointment only). Map
HM - PQ call numbers, General Collection Stacks. Map
A - HL call numbers, General Collection Stacks. Map
The Great Scots collection is located in the Harmon Room on the main floor of the library. It celebrates the scholarly and creative works produced by Macalester faculty, students, staff, and alumni. The collection includes the most recent five years of publications. The titles migrate to the stacks after they have been on display for five years.
- On-Campus or Remote Login Resources
Art Images for College Teaching
Coverage: Prehistoric - 20th Century.
AICT is a source of images to be used for educational purposes. It is organized into five broad historical eras. Each image has basic data, instructions for downloading, and where it is referenced from a list of about 25 basic art history texts.
Coverage: Date Varies.
Large library of approximately 300,000 digital images of artistic photographs and artwork. ARTstor documents art and artistic traditions across many times and cultures and embraces architecture, archaeology, painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, and design as well as many other forms of visual culture. This resource also provides software tools to enable active use of the images. These tools support a wide range of uses including analyzing images, saving groups of images online, and creating presentations.
Eighteenth Century Collections: Images
Images available in the research database called Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO).
Macalester Art History Digital Collection
This is a database of high quality digital images collected and maintained by the Art Department at Macalester.
Open Access Resources
Copyright restrictions and other restrictions may apply.
- Macalester Archives Digitized Photographs
Coverage: Dates vary.
A collection of images that describe and illustrate the history of the institution.
- Macalester Views
Coverage: Dates vary.
A collection of digital images that reflect the observations of the Macalester community engaged in study or work around the globe. The images were taken by Macalester faculty, students, and staff.
To save on space and to better preserve some materials, they have been converted to microfilm or microfiche. These materials include newspapers like the NY Times and government materials like older census records. These materials are located across from the lower level information desk. Microform equipment is located nearby for use with these materials.
The Periodicals collection includes the many magazines, scholarly journals, and newspapers to which our library subscribes. This collection can actually be found in two different locations: newer issues are kept on the south end of the main level; and older issues are kept on the lower level of the library. In both cases, they are arranged in alphabetical order by title. Like reference materials, periodicals cannot be checked out by library users and must be used in the building.
The Library also provides access to electronic subscription journals, magazines, newspapers, etc. Online versions can be found and/or accessed via WorldCat Local, Journal Search, or individual research databases on the Research Databases page.
Some materials are just physically too large to fit on the regular shelving. These materials are kept on special shelving located at the end of the general collection on the second level. The really big books are kept on shelves in the group study area in the sothwest corner of second level. Materials located in both the "oversize" and "super oversize" collections are clearly marked as such in the library catalog.
Located in the north alcove on the first floor, the Popular Reading Collection includes newly purchased materials and items that are more popular in nature. This collection is where you'd find the newest book in the Harry Potter series or that controversial new nonfiction title that everyone is talking about.
- Rare Books Curator: Ellen Holt-Werle
About the Rare Books Collection
The Rare Books collection consists of published material that is valuable and unique. These are items are thus considered too valuable to be in the general circulating collection. Selected material may also be placed in the Rare Books room so as to form a meaningful collection in combination with rare material. Access to these materials is through appointment only. Please contact Ellen Holt-Werle for more information.
History of the Rare Books Collection
The Rare Books Room of the DeWitt Wallace Library was first organized in 1961-62 and consists of first editions, along with some rare and unique published and unpublished materials. The main focus of the collection is American authors who have achieved prominence in the first half of the 20th century, with a special emphasis on Midwestern authors. Authors include: Sinclair Lewis, Willa Cather, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hamlin Garland, O.E. Rolvaag, William Faulkner, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, and Charles A. Lindbergh. Other authors in the collection include: Robert Frost, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Ernest Hemingway, Truman Capote, Feike Feikema (Frederick Manfred), Kay Boyle, John Steinbeck, Carl Sandburg, William Styron, and Thomas Wolfe.
A major feature of the Rare Books Room is the significant collection of Sinclair Lewis, most of which was purchased in 1965. Generous gifts of books and letters, as well as works about Sinclair Lewis, have enriched the collection over the years.
Mid-20th Century Prose and Poetry
Another feature of the collection is a focus on mid-20th century prose and poetry. The Charles Foster Collection celebrates a long friendship with Robert Frost. Donated by the Foster family, one of whom is David A. Foster, class of 1967, there are first edition works of Robert Frost as well as Christmas cards with handwritten greetings from Robert Frost to Charles Foster and his wife, Doris.
A more recent addition to the Rare Books Room is the works of Vladimir Nabokov. This collection belonged to the late David F. Wheeler, class of 1980. David majored in English literature and Russian studies as a student at Macalester College. In his honor, and because the family credits the college for nurturing David's interest in Russian literature, the family donated his collection of Nabokov works to the library in 1998.
The Reference collection is located on the main level of the library near the reference desk. It includes information sources such as encyclopedias, almanacs, atlases and dictionaries that are frequently used by reference librarians in assisting library users. Generally speaking, these materials cannot be checked out by library users and must be used in the building.
The Reserves collection is located behind the circulation desk (the end of the desk closest to the photocopier room) and includes high use materials that have been identied by faculty as being needed by a class.
The library's sound recordings and a small collection of popular DVD's are located in the south reading room on the first floor.
The Wood Collection is our library's children's book collection. It is located in a room north end of the second level of the library between the BI Room and the elevator. The Wood Collection includes all of the Caldecott Medal Winners and all the Newberry Medal winners as well as a wide selection of other children's book titles. Wood Collection books can be checked out.