Delving into Student Publications

black and white photograph of Amherst, MA featuring Amherst College, 1800s

In May, we completed and ingested our largest group of material yet: series 1 of the Amherst College Student & Alumni Publications Collection. This sub-section of the collection contains many of the publications created by Amherst students during their time here at Amherst. Still to come from this collection are the majority of the student newspaper, alumni publications, and Five College student publications.

The 57 titles below are not an exhaustive list of every publication in series 1, as you can see from the collection’s finding aid. Part of the monumental task of digitizing this collection has been a copyright review of all publications. We have learned a great deal about copyright law from this process. Because the students creating these publications own the copyright unless it has expired, we were not able to digitize many of the more recent publications.

We know that this is not a complete record of every publication created by a student or student group throughout Amherst’s history. Archives & Special Collections relies on donation to collect most of its student publication material, and likely never received copies of some publications, or received a first issue but no subsequent issues of other publications. An important part of archival research is thinking critically about the gaps in the archives: what’s not there, and who is not represented. We don’t claim to have captured a complete picture of the entire history of the college, but we can be up front about what we do have, and encourage users to also think about what we don’t.