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University Archives & Special Collections

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Resources on the history of Fairfield University and related topics.

About the University Archives and Special Collections

Mission Statement

Playing a lead role in the stewardship of Fairfield University's historical and cultural resources, the University Archives and Special Collections preserves and manages institutional records and distinctive artifacts for current researchers and future generations. With a strong commitment to outreach and access, we strive to actively engage with local and global communities to document and promote the impact and experiences of all those who are a part of the University's legacy.

University Archives

As the institutional memory of Fairfield University, the University Archives collects, preserves, arranges and describes records of enduring value from the founding of the University in 1942 to the present. We seek to document the ongoing stories of students, faculty, staff, administration and alumni in both physical and digital formats. This includes historical photographs, administrative documents, yearbooks, course catalogs, promotional materials and videos. We provide research and instruction services for the University as well as the broader research community.

Special Collections

The Library houses rare books and several unique collections including the Book of Kells facsimile, the Heritage Edition of the St. John's Bible, the John S. Sharnik Collection, the Nicholas B. Sheetz Celtic Collection, and the Walter J. Petry Collection-Nicaragua: the Sandinista Years (1979-1990). These distinctive collections are available for research and classroom use. The Book of Kells and the St. John's Bible are on permanent public display at the Library.

Use of the University Archives

In-person use of the Archives is primarily by appointment.  Please click here to Schedule an Appointment with the University Archivist.  

In-person requests for cataloged material may also be handled at the Library Services and Information Desk. The Research Librarians are available during library hours and may be reached by phone at (203) 254-4000 ext. 2188 or by e-mail at

Although we do our best to accommodate walk-ins, the Library strongly encourages researchers to contact us ahead of time in regards to their research requests.  A survey of available material on a particular topic can be done quickly and efficiently by the archives staff, saving the researcher unnecessary time and travel.  In many cases, material can be scanned and delivered to researchers via email or a file sharing system.

Researchers wishing to come to the library in-person to do long-term, extended work in the Archives and Special Collections are welcome to contact the University Archivist directly to discuss their research needs and arrange a schedule.  Before visiting, please review our Research Guidelines for In-Person Appointments.

Use of Special Collections Material

The Fairfield University Archives and Special Collections is home to rare books, facsimiles, and several unique collections of material that are available for research, classroom, and exhibit use.  These include the Gutenberg BibleBook of Kells, the St. John's Bible, the Walter J. Petry Collection, and the John S. Sharnik Collection

Although in-person use for most of these collections is primarily by appointment, many special collections books are available for in-library use during library hours and patrons can request access to these through the Library Services & Information Desk.  For more in-depth research requests, please click here to Schedule an Appointment with the University Archivist. In addition, feel free to contact the Archivist with any questions related to classroom use.

University Archivist and Special Collections Librarian

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Elise Bochinski
Phone: 203-254-4000 x2892

DiMenna-Nyselius Library
Fairfield University
1073 North Benson Rd
Fairfield, CT 06824


The Fairfield University Archives and Special Collections is housed and administered by the DiMenna-Nyselius Library. Policies governing access to and use of archival materials are in accordance with policies established by the Library, and take into account any restrictions placed on access by the donor or originating office that have been accepted by the Library.

For more information about our policies, please visit our Policies page.