Our Mission & Purpose

acquiring and preserving materials that support Siena College's curriculum and special programs

The main purpose of the Fleet Special Collections Center is to support the college curriculum through the aquisition and preservation of rare books, manuscripts, manuscript leaves, facsimile editions and other special materials, and to provide equitable access to said materials to the greater Siena community. Special Collections exists to enhance the Standish Library's general collection and to encourage the use of the library's special materials by supporting the teaching and research programs of the College, and by providing research opportunities to Siena faculty, students and local scholars.

In accordance with the mission statements of Siena College and the Standish Library, the Special Collections Center exists primarily to support the College’s curriculum by collecting, preserving and providing access to rare books, manuscripts, manuscript leaves, facsimile editions and other special materials which cannot be safely housed or preserved in the Library’s main collection spaces.

Its purpose is to enhance Siena College Library’s general collection, to support the teaching and research programs of the College, and to provide opportunities for research to Siena faculty, students and local scholars. The Special Collections Center also exists to provide Siena College students with an introductory experience in using a rare book room. Through classes and exhibits as well as visits to the Center, students are made aware of the etiquette, security arrangements and restrictions involved in using special collections and they are informed about the conservation efforts made to preserve these materials for future generations.

Special Collections at Siena College are dependent almost entirely on non- monetary and monetary gifts for development. For information about specific collection strengths, please refer to the Collection Policy for the Fleet Special Collections Center.

The Siena College Library Special Collections seeks to develop collections in several specific subject areas. These areas have been chosen in consultation with faculty members and in response to various opportunities. Others are related to traditional subject strengths at Siena. In developing collections the following considerations are made: scholarly research value of the material, an item’s exhibit potential, and its outreach potential. Materials are also added to the Special Collection via transfer from the Library’s main collections. The qualities considered in these instances include the materials fragility, age, value as an artifact, association value and market value. These materials may be outside the targeted subject areas of collecting emphasis.

The policy of the Special Collections Center is to make materials available to researchers on equal terms, subject to appropriate care and handling by the researcher.

  • Siena College faculty and staff
  • Siena College students
  • Visiting students
  • Visiting scholars
  • Siena College alumni
  • Members of the public

All of the above groups are welcome to use the Special Collections with proper registration.

The Siena College Special Collections consists primarily of old and rare books, autographed copies, limited edition books, documents, manuscripts, manuscript leaves, facsimile editions, photographs, maps, scrapbooks, selected 18th, 19th and early 20th century journals, and regalia which support the curriculum and special programs of the College.

Collecting areas for the Special Collections are reviewed periodically . As circumstances change and opportunities arise, collecting areas may be reevaluated and modified.

The Special Collections Center collects in the following areas.
  • Franciscana
  • Convivium Collection
  • Theology & Catholic Studies
  • T. E. Lawrence (books and other materials by and about T.E. Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia)
  • British literature and history
  • Classical literature
  • Irish history
  • Local history (Capital District of New York State and Northern New York State)
  • Volumes and leaves which are illustrative of the history and development of books and printing
  • Artist books

The primary means for the development of the Special Collections is through non- monetary gifts to the Library. The Siena College Library Gifts Policy is applicable to all donations designated for the Special Collections. Acquisitions which are made through purchase invariably entail a monetary gift to the Library. In these cases items are selected and purchased from dealer catalogs or other dealer offers. Generally loans of material or temporarily deposited items are not accepted for the Special Collection.