Wells College Archives

The Archives, located on the third floor of the Louis Jefferson Long Library, houses material documenting the history of Wells College from 1868 to the present.


Reference and research assistance for archival materials is offered to all Wells College students, faculty, and administrators. Access to the collection for researchers outside the campus community will only be granted after permission has been secured from a library staff member prior to visiting the campus. For further information please see the Rules for the Use of the Wells College Archives.

Finding Aids for many our special collections are available in electronic format.


Senior Thesis Cover Page (PDF) and Permission Page (PDF).

The above documents contain instructions for submitting a senior thesis or senior project information to the Archives.

The Library Catalog contains listings of all theses. To find a thesis, type thesis in the Search for: box and choose within: Title. You will see a results list of all possible majors. When viewing a record, you will see that theses are organized by graduation year and last name.


Visit Wellsipedia, an online encyclopedia of Wells College history. Watch for updates throughout the semester.


The Frances Folsom Cleveland Collection contains many different articles and objects relating to Frances Folsom Cleveland (Preston). The collection covers her years as a student at Wells College, her years at the White House as the wife of President Grover Cleveland, and her years as Mrs. Thomas Preston.


This collection contains bibliographic information on Victor Hammer, who fled Europe during the Second World War, coming to the United States with his first wife, Rosl. They moved to Aurora, NY where Victor Hammer taught art at Wells College and set up the Wells College Press and his personal Hammer Press. During his time in Aurora, he cut the Aurora and American Uncial typefaces. The collection contains information surrounding exhibitions of his work, photographs of Hammer, and information on and works from the Anvil Press. Tangential materials included in the collection are the products of the Wells College Press, which uses Hammer's Press, and information about the Wells College Books Arts Center.

Some materials were selected to be digitized in spring 2011. They are hosted on the New York Heritage Digital Collections website based on our South Central Regional Library Council membership. See the Victor Hammer Collection.


The following stories were compiled before Wells became coeducational in 2005. For many generations, just before Halloween, the upperclasswomen at Wells have told ghost stories to the Underclasswomen. These stories are passed down orally from class to class, and are therefore constantly changing, as each storyteller adds her own bits or changes things around to suit her own style. At some point in the early 1990s, several of the traditional stories were written down, and the Archives obtained copies of the stories. We offer these here, along with a couple other odds and ends found in the folder -- one an account of a hanging on Wells land from a clipping amongst the Temple Rice Hollcroft papers, one a spooky story written by an alumna about the Library. There are no further documents in the Wells College Archives to either prove or disprove the accuracy of the stories presented here. Read our Ghost Stories.


Scrapbooks compiled by alumnae from roughly 1890-1950 are contained in the Archives. Volumes typically contain photographs of college life, including interior and exterior views of the campus, and images of women in groups and individual portraits, with formal studio portraits and images of students engaged in recreation and study. Campus life is represented by clippings, programs, correspondence, and other ephemera.