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The manuscript collections in the Knox College Special Collections and Archives are rich and varied.
Over three hundred separate collections have documents and photos related to Midwestern history, the Underground Railroad, the Civil War, the railroads, 19th century world travel, education and environmental issues. The collections include the diaries, correspondence, reminiscences and documents related to the founding of the college.
Because the town and the college were founded together in 1837, the documents present a remarkable picture of the struggles and determination of all Midwestern settlers. Yet the personal and professional papers of George Washington Gale, Silvanus Ferris, and the Farnham family, as well as other alumni and faculty, give a depth to Knox's history that is unique.
Associated with Galesburg's past is Lombard College, established in 1858 by the Universalist Church. The college did not survive the Great Depression, but Knox holds the records of her history and information about her faculty and alumni.
View some images in the Lombard College Scrapbook
In addition, the manuscript holdings include the papers of significant literary figures including Ernest Hemingway and Carl Sandburg. Poets Don Marquis, Edgar Lee Masters and Eugene Field attended Knox and the college has manuscript collections related to their lives and work.
Visit the Knox College Special Collections and Archives to examine specific finding aids on topics such as the Civil War, women's studies and the history of education.