Access to Collections

Review the different databases below which contain information and inventories of the official records of the Institute, as well as personal papers, special collections, records of professional societies, photographs and more!

If you plan to visit, please contact us to make an appointment and discuss your research needs. 

Collection Guides | Search the collection guides which include general descriptions of materials and inventories of collection contents.  This database allows searching and browsing of selected collections held in the department. You can also review a List of collections by title within the database.

See also the Friedman History of Geology Collection

On-line catalog | Search here for rare books, undergraduate theses (1855-1910), and cataloged archival and manuscript collections. This portion of the Rensselaer Libraries’ catalog includes only materials housed in the Institute Archives and Special Collections department.

Image Database | The Archives provides access to selected individual images and graphics from either the photograph collection or items contained within collections.

Rensselaer Digital Collections | Consists of materials of intellectual, historic and cultural value to Rensselaer in a wide variety of image, audio, video and text formats. Notable collections to access within this database are RPI histories, *Alumni News, and *The Polytechnic. *Access to some items requires authentication with an RCS (Rensselaer Computing System) logon and password.

Additional Resources

The following bibliographies highlight useful resources for specific topics on Rensselaer history. We are continually adding links to online resources within each the following guides, however in most cases a visit to the Archives is necessary.