Special Collections and Archives

An Historical Rainbow: Special Collections Offers A Journey into Color

A historical highlight in the new exhibition is a first-edition copy of Isaac Newton’s 1704 book Opticks, or, A Treatise of the Reflections, Refractions, Inflections and Colours of Light, which radically changed people’s ideas about color. “Through Newton’s experiments, he was able to prove that light, rather than being devoid of color, is actually composed of the different spectral hues of the rainbow,” librarian Marieke Van Der Steenhoven said.

50 Years After the Loss of MLK, Bowdoin Remembers His Historic Visit to Campus

While the King Center in Atlanta, Georgia, holds the copyright to the speech Dr. Martin Luther King made in 1964 at Bowdoin, the College has permission to make the audio available online in conjunction with occasions such as the observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month.

Follow the Ill-Fated 1913 Crocker Land Expedition Online

A century after their return from four years in the Arctic, the journals and photographs from the 1913-1917 Crocker Land Expedition are now available through a new web portal as a result of a grant from The Gladys Kreible Delmas Foundation.

“With books in their pockets”: Armed Service Editions at Special Collections

Bowdoin’s Special Collections holds many Armed Services Editions, small and cheaply printed books that were issued for soldiers to take to war. Nancy Noble, a cataloger at Maine Historical Society, shares her thoughts about how these unassuming paperbacks remind us of the power of the written word to change lives.

No White Gloves: College Archives Give Students Hands-on History, Including the History of Race at Bowdoin

Each year, librarian Marieke Van Der Steenhoven scours the course catalog to pick out classes that might overlap with Bowdoin’s archives, which are vast and varied. “Bowdoin has such amazing collections, they are really remarkable,” she said.

‘Bound and Determined’: Special Collections Curates Book Exhibition with a Twist

“We approached this exhibit in a totally different way. We look at the physical aspects of the book—the binding, the paper, the illustrations, the print—not at what the book is about or what it says.”

The Last of the Heath Hens: Special Collections Receives Grant to Preserve 1930s Ornithological Research

It’s full circle moment for Edward Minot, the interim director of the Bowdoin Scientific Station on Kent Island. Films documenting ornithological research done in the 1930s by his grandfather, Bowdoin professor of biology Alfred Otto Gross, Kent Island’s first director, will be digitized and preserved, thanks to a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation.

Digital Tools Open Up Bowdoin’s Past to Students

The following story explores the ways in which students, staff, and faculty are applying digital technology to analyze old texts and objects.