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Archives and Special Collections: Home


The Salem Academy and College Archives is responsible for acquiring, managing, preserving and making accessible to the community as an educational resource, institutional materials and records of permanent historical value pertaining to the Academy and College.

The Archives collects administrative and fiscal records, manuscripts, photographs, maps, architectural plans, scrapbooks, and letters from presidents, academic departments, student organizations, faculty, students and alumnae that help document and illustrate the history, programs, events and goals of the institution.

As is the case with most archives, access to the Salem materials depends upon the researcher’s ability to describe as precisely as possible the question being pursued.  Unlike the library’s circulating collections, the materials in the archives are neither fully cataloged nor organized for patron browsing or ready access, therefore we can best serve you if you contact us via email.

Policies & Procedures

Please email for assistance.

For general researchers :

Members of the library staff prepare and utilize a variety of in-house finding aids, and they shelve the materials according to current preservation practices. As is the case with most archives, access to the Salem materials depends on the researcher’s ability to describe as precisely as possible the question being pursued. Authorized staff members use this information to identify and retrieve relevant material, deliver it to a designated area for supervised examination by the researcher, and (if appropriate) make any necessary copies. Because this process requires substantial amounts of library time, it is important for would-be archival researchers first to have conducted preliminary research on their topics using available resources.

Archive Grid

Items in Archives, Special Collections, and the Rare Book Room that have been catalogued are searchable through ArchiveGrid. Taken from collection descriptions in OCLC’s Worldcat database, you may browse holdings by people, group, place, or topic.

Digital Collections

Hattie Strong Collection – The Hattie Strong Collection includes correspondence, diaries, scrapbooks, and photographs.   Many items were donated by the Hattie M. Strong Foundation while others were already in Salem’s collection. 

Emma Lehman Collection – The Emma Lehman Collection includes her history writings, lecture notes, poems, correspondences and scrapbooks. The highlight of the collection is her herbarium of North Carolina plants, including the plant discovered and named after her: Monotropsis lehmanii.

The following materials can be found on the DigitalNC page for Salem Academy and College:

  • The Salemite – College Newspaper
  • College “Sights and Insights” – yearbooks from 1905-2011
  • Academy “The Quill Pen” – yearbooks from 1927-1964  (for reasons of privacy, more current issues have not been scanned)
  • Catalogs – Academic catalogs starting in 1854.  The catalogs list the names of students, and classes offered
  • Alumnae Newsletters – Alumnae newsletters starting in 1878.
  • Salem Female Academy Ledger – View the oldest general ledger in our Archives;  we use the ledgers to verify attendance at the Girl’s Boarding School or Salem Female Academy.
  • Academy Glee Club Scrapbook – 1974-1975
  • College Girls’ Record, Compiled and Illustrated by Virginia Woodson Frame


The Salem Digital Collections may include offensive language, images, and views. Salem Academy and College does not endorse or condone any offensive material contained in these documents and provides access only for the preservation and study of historical artifacts.

Salem's 250th Anniversary

salem 250th logo 1722-2022

  “The Walk from Bethlehem” by Dr. Dudley D. Shearburn  (PDF).

Published in volume 8 of The Three Forks of Muddy Creek. Frances Griffin, editor. (W-S: Old Salem, Inc., 1981) pp.13-26

Hattie Strong Collection

This collection features correspondence, diaries, scrapbooks, and photographs from the Hattie M. Strong Foundation and Salem Academy & College. Julia Jennings, class of 2019, worked on the arrangement and archival descriptions of the collection for a service learning project in Spring 2018.

Gramley Library Lobby Display

Salem College student Julia Jennings

students using scanner

Salem students using scanner purchased with grant from Hattie Strong Foundation

Share Your Stories: Impact of COVID-19

We want to record accurately the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the Salem community—students, faculty, and staff. Learn how to share your stories here.

Single Sisters House, 1918

Single Sisters House, 2020