Manuscripts

Collection Development Policy Guidelines

  1. General Scope

    1. Audience
      The Manuscript collections are designed to support the curriculum of Dartmouth College with unique manuscript materials and serve the broader scholarly community with extensive holdings in particular areas of interest. While the primary users of the Manuscript collections are students and faculty of the College, the collections support research from the scholarly world beyond the Dartmouth community as well as serving the needs of many local historians in the Upper Valley. The Manuscript collections are designed to support the curriculum of the College, so they are not bound to particular programs or departments.

    2. Boundaries
      The collection is composed of several broad collecting areas. These include art history, presses and fine printing, literature, social and political history, business and economic history, and computer history. An emphasis is placed upon the history of New Hampshire with special attention paid to the White Mountains, to the Cornish Colony, and to the history of Hanover, New Hampshire, and other communities in the Upper Connecticut River Valley. Of particular interest are the papers of alumni who have made significant contributions to American society (see the “Dartmouth Associates” policy). Selection is through manuscript selection.

    3. Partnerships
      Manuscript collecting is inherently a cooperative process with other institutions. Because a manuscript can only exist in one place, we steer collections to other institutions when we feel they will get greater use there, and other institutions direct collections to us.

  2. Specific Delimitations to collecting in this subject area

    1. Languages
      English is the primary language. However, all Western European languages (as well as Latin, Greek and Arabic) are well represented. Examples of manuscripts in all languages are acquired for teaching purposes.
    2. Geographical Areas (if applicable)
      North America and Western Europe are the areas of primary collecting. Examples of manuscripts in all geographical areas are collected for teaching purposes.
    3. Types of Materials Collected
      Materials in the collections range in age and size from fragments of ancient papyri to large collections of modern political and literary figures. The majority of materials originated in North American or Western Europe and date from the fifteenth century to the present. Representative samples of manuscripts from all periods and languages are acquired for teaching purposes.
    4. Format of Materials Collected
      Manuscripts are defined as any original, written materials that are created as unique items as opposed to reproduced items. This would include holographs, typescripts, computer tapes and the like. Original manuscripts only are collected. Facsimiles and photocopies are not collected.
    5. Collective Collections
      Within New Hampshire, there are several repositories maintaining collections that complement our holdings. These include the New Hampshire Historical Society, New Hampshire State Archives, and the University of New Hampshire. This overlap is particularly evident in the political and social history of New Hampshire in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

  3. Revision History
    • September 2016, Jay Satterfield
    • December 2009 by Jay Satterfield to supersede the following: "Manuscripts: Modern British and American Literature"; 
"Manuscripts: New Hampshire"; 
"Manuscripts"; 
"Archives: Local History."
    • Current selector: Jay Satterfield