About the Archives and Special Collections
The purpose of collecting archival records (both paper and electronic) is to provide documentation of the history of the College. This includes its role in the community; the activities of its faculty, student body, and alumni; and the development of its buildings, landscape, and curriculum. To this end, the archival collections document the history of Rollins from its foundation in 1885 to the present.

Wenxian with students


The Department of College Archives was founded in 1933 and formally established in 1954 by the Board of Trustees upon the recommendation of President Hugh McKean.  In 1985, it was merged with Special Collections and renamed the Department of Archives and Special Collections.  The Department's location changed several times until it was moved to its current location in the Olin Library in 1998. 



The collections are divided into two broad subject areas:  College Archives and Special Collections.  They include the Rollins Collection, the Florida Collection, and the Photographic Collection.

College Archives

The College Archives, which serves as the collective memory for Rollins, houses the records and documents for the College's administrative and academic offices, and those of faculty and student organizations.  The Archives also collects College publications and maintains complete sets of its yearbook, the Tomokan, and the student newspaper, The Sandspur.

Special Collections

The materials in the special collections are unique and diverse, ranging from early printed books to modern first editions, private press books, and rare books on Floridiana. 

Rollins Collection

The Rollins Collection holds the published works of Rollins students, faculty, staff, and alumni, including the complete works of Rex Beach, a novelist and alumnus, and A.J. Hanna, a faculty member, college vice president, alumnus, and historian.  Among the student writings are honors and graduate theses and selected research papers.

Florida Collection

Created by A.J. Hanna, the Florida Collection consists of books, monographs, pamphlets, and maps related to the history of the state.  Among the most prized items of the collection is Volume II of Theodore de Bry's America.  Printed in 1591, it is one of the first published accounts of the lives of native Floridians.

Photographic Collection

Historical photographs are a rich resource for Rollins history.  With photographs dating from the late 1800s to the present, the collection offers a wealth of visual documentation for the study of Rollins, Winter Park, and, more generally, Central Florida.  The Department has the capability to provide photo-quality scanned images of items in the collection.



The Archives accepts donations of materials related to Rollins College and Florida that fall within its collection development policy.  For more information concerning donations, please contact the Head of Archives and Special Collections, Wenxian Zhang.