Listed below are some of the most heavily consulted collections of the College Archives. From these for example, researchers will be able to get a glimpse at Saint Mary's through the papers, correspondences and photographs of its most famous president, Sister Madeleva Wolff, who headed the College from 1934 to 1961.

Student photographs and scrapbooks give many details into the life of Saint Mary's students from the late 1890's through the 1940's and the general photographic collection documents the many aspects of the life and history of the College.

Finally, a unique collection from newspaper columnist William W. Dunkle is also available to researchers. A local and national columnist, Dunkle's collection is the most complete history of theatre in South Bend and covers the time period 1890 - 1940. Interwoven in the theatrical collection are many programs, articles and photographs that pertain to circuses, both locally and nationally.

  • Sister Madeleva Wolff: personal papers, correspondence, photographs, and audio recordings
  • Eliza Allen Starr: correspondence and manuscripts
  • Dympna Balbach: photograph collection (1908-1972)
  • Student scrapbooks: 1896-1940
  • William W. Dunkle Theatre and Circus Collection: South Bend theatrical history (1890 - 1940). Contains programs, interviews,
    photographs, and articles pertaining to prominent performers of that era.
  • Photograph Collection: 1870-1970. More than 8,000 photographs of the campus from the personal collections of students and alumnae of the college.
  • Image Collection: featuring views of Saint Mary's from at least 1902 through 1942, some in color, and a Founder's Day booklet, 12 October, 1899.

Materials from Special Collections do not circulate but may be used in the Archives. Contact the Archives by email at or by phone at (574) 284-5282 for more information on using these collections and to make a research appointment.

The Rare Book Collection is located in room B26 in the lower level of the library. Contact Jill Hobgood,, (574) 284-4804 for more information about the use of the Rare Book Collection and to make a research appointment.