As a repository of records of the life of Barnard College and broader feminist histories, we provide a space for critical, interdisciplinary inquiry into the past as well as the imagination of possible futures. We contribute to the College's mission of intellectual risk-taking and discovery and our shared responsibility to address issues of gender in all their complexity and urgency.
The mission of the Barnard Archives is pedagogical at its foundation. We collaborate with Barnard students, staff, alums, faculty, administrators, and other members of the Barnard College and Columbia University communities, as well as with a global community of researchers, activists, and artists. We collect records documenting college history and the lives of students, alums, faculty, and staff from founding to present day, as well as special collections that document feminist histories.
Our work is informed by reparative and redistributive frameworks to actively confront histories of exclusion and displacement of people with marginalized identities within our collections.
The mission of the Archives is:
To collect, appraise, preserve, and make accessible documents of Barnard College; to collect, appraise, preserve, and make accessible documentation of the activities, people, and events associated with the College’s administrative offices and academic departments, faculty, students, staff, and alums.
To grow Special Collections that align with the ways in which Barnard students, alums, and faculty have always been at the forefront of feminist activism, theory, and scholarship.
To provide adequate facilities for the retention and preservation of such records, to safeguard the collection's physical security, and to conform to professional standards.
To act as a resource that encourages creative and critical teaching and learning, and to serve scholarship by promoting the use of the Archives to members of the Barnard and Columbia communities, and to communities of researchers at large. The Barnard Archives and Special Collections collections will contribute to Barnard’s curriculum by providing collections in all formats that inspire the exchange of ideas and the production of knowledge.
To promote knowledge and understanding of the mission, history, and programs of the College.
To provide information services that aim to support archival research beyond the Barnard Archives and to support archival preservation beyond our collecting (i.e. we aspire to incorporate non-custodial models of collections growth and care, inclusive of supporting personal archiving practices for our community).
We also commit to access to our collections; learn more about our commitments to access on our Information for Your Visit page.
Learn more about our collecting areas and how to donate materials.
Read our full Collection Development Policy.