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Special Collections and Archives

Digital Collections & Exhibits
The digital collections below feature a vast number of primary sources such as manuscripts, photographs, newspaper clippings, and artworks. You can perform keyword searches and download images from the collections. If a higher resolution image is needed, contact Special Collections with the image description.

undefinedThe Allen Ayrault Green Photograph Collection
More than 800 images are included in this collection of photographs from Allen Ayrault Green (1880-1963), a former Knox College student. Spanning the 1890s to about 1910, these photographs document Green’s close family and friends, Knox College, and life in Galesburg.


undefinedThe Art of the Book: Personal and Institutional Bookplates
Bookplates are small, decorative labels pasted into books that indicate ownerships and/or benefactors. Enjoy some of Seymour Library’s numerous bookplates, which often include specially chosen quotations, mottos, and illustrations.


undefinedThe Grace Ward 19th Century Photograph Collection
Grace Rankin Ward (1844-1922), a graduate of Knox College, later served as a missionary and teacher to women and children in India from 1870 to 1898.. Among her photographs from India, this digital collection also includes souvenir images from her visits to China, Japan, and Egypt.


Green Oaks Biological Field Station
The land that comprises Green Oaks was donated to Knox College in 1958 through the estate of Alvah S. Green, Knox class of 1890. Prairie restoration began in the spring of 1955 when the first few acres were planted in prairie plants. 1955 also saw the first managed prairie burn, an annual practice that continues to this day. 


undefinedThe Harold Way Photograph Collection
Harold Way’s interest in photography led him to photograph more than 3,000 images of Knox College activities including social events, theatre productions, classrooms, and much more. Most of these images are available through the digital collection, which highlights the culture of the College from 1890 to the 1940s.


undefinedKnox College Experiences the First World War
Experience the actions of Knox College and the surrounding Galesburg area during World War I in this digital exhibit. Included are various primary sources such as photographs, documents, and ephemera.



The Knox Student
The Knox Student, Knox College's student newspaper, was first published 1878-1882 and then continuously from 1894 to the present. The newspaper is a rich record of daily life at a small Midwestern liberal arts college, documenting events, people and ideas important to Knox College and the surrounding Galesburg community. 


undefinedMuralism in Revolutionary Nicaragua: The Henry Houser Collection
Learn more about the relationship between murals and revolution through the documentation of Henry P. Houser, former Knox College Professor of Sociology. The exhibit features some correspondence, as well as 90  images of murals highlighting the muralist movement in Nicaragua.


undefinedNetsuke Ivory Carvings
Netsuke are small, decorative objects that were popular during the Tokugawa Period (1615-1856) in Japan. As part of traditional men’s dress, the netsuke were often attached to a cord with a box at the end. The box included personal necessities such as money, tobacco, and writing implements.  Carved in ivory, the collection includes nearly 50 of these miniature artworks.


undefinedOutside the Shadow of Rembrandt
The exhibition details selected 17th century prints from the Famulener and Wilson Collections housed in Special Collections. The research that produced this exhibit was conducted during winter term 2001 by Knox College students in the course Baroque Art and Architecture.


undefinedRailroads in the Midwest
Explore the early history of railroads in Illinois and the Midwest by examining this collection of documents, maps, photographs, and railroad ephemera. Allen A. Green, Class of 1903, produced many of the included photographs of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy (CB&Q) trains.


undefinedSeeing America: Vision and Visual Culture in the United States
View selected artworks from Knox College and the Galesburg Civic Art Center in this digital exhibit. In collaboration with librarians and staff, Seeing America was curated by students in Greg Gilbert's course, Introduction to Art Museum Studies (winter term 2018).


undefinedStruggle and Progress: African Americans in Knox County
Featuring materials from Special Collections and community members, this collection highlights African American experiences from in and around Galesburg through photographs, documents, and manuscripts. Included within are materials from the J. Howell Atwood Collections, as well as six full issues from The Illinois Star, a Black-owned newspaper.


undefinedThe Way to Knox
Named in honor of the traditional processional “The Way to Knox,” the collection depicts the history and sights of the College from the 1870s to the 2000s. Included within are images of Knox-related activities, events, and individuals.