A student looks through rows of books at the library.

The Ball State University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections preserves and provides access to over 1.5 million rare and unique archival materials of enduring research value. Our collections are accessible to all researchers and the general public.

Archives and Special Collections is open to the general public (including Ball State University students, staff and emeriti) Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Registration is highly encouraged for researchers using Archives and Special Collections material. Click here to complete your registration.

Virtual assistance is available to external researchers: we provide Zoom appointments, material duplication, and email research consultations. Email libarchives@bsu.edu or call 765-285-5078 with your inquiry.

For more information about access to resources, provided services, and visits please contact Archives and Special Collections staff.

Visit Archives and Special Collections current digital exhibit, The Ball State University Multicultural Center: Ambassadors of Campus Inclusion and Diversity.

Ball State University Archives

Records that document the history of the University, including archival materials from students, faculty, administration, departments, research offices, and alumni.

Document your Story: COVID-19 Pandemic Project Archive

Community archive documenting the COVID-19 pandemic. A collaborative project between Ball State University Libraries Archives and Special Collections, the Everyday Life in Middletown Project, and the Muncie Public Library.

Stoeckel Archives of Local History

Documents the history of Muncie and Delaware County, Indiana and includes records of business and industry, churches, clubs and organizations, education, genealogy, government, personal and family papers, photographs, and oral histories.

Andrew Seager Archives of the Built Environment, A Division of University Libraries

The Andrew Seager Archives of the Built Environment, A Division of University Libraries located in the Libraries located in the Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning, contains over 120,000 original architectural drawings, landscape plans, blueprints, photographs, models, and building remnants that tell the stories of Indiana’s sites and structures.

Middletown Studies Collection

Research materials on Muncie as Middletown. Records collected fall into two categories: Records of Middletown Research, which consist of documentation generated by various studies and projects on Middletown: and collections on Muncie in the Stoeckel Archives of Local History.

Special Collections

Special Collections includes special formats, first editions, fine printing and bindings, and other rare published works. This includes unique research topics includes the John Steinbeck Collection, the papers of Congressman Philip Sharp, and the Frank A. Bracken Civil War Collection.


Archives and Special Collections’ physical collections in Bracken Library may be used in the Archives reading room (BL 210), which provides space for quiet and collaborative study as well as desktop computers for online searching. The reading room also contains scanners for public use free of charge.

Archives and Special Collections’ physical collections in the Andrew Seager Archive of the Built Environment, A Division of University Libraries may be used in the Archive’s reading room located in the Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning, Room AB 120.

The Schwartz Digital Complex also serves as a space to host instructional sessions or programming events associated with Archives and Special Collections.

Ditsky Memorial Steinbeck Research Award Steinbeck Research Fund Established in Honor of Dr. John M. Ditsky

Thanks to a generous donation from Mrs. C. Suzette Ditsky, Steinbeck scholars are able to receive grant moneys to support research at Ball State University Libraries using the Steinbeck Collection at Ball State University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections.

Funds from the Steinbeck Research Fund will be awarded specifically to scholars who plan to visit Ball State University Archives and Special Collections to conduct meaningful and in-depth primary source research using the Steinbeck Collection. Ball State University Libraries will consider applicants from multiple disciplines who have demonstrated a commitment to and interest in the study of the work and career of John Steinbeck. Ball State University Libraries is especially interested in funding the work of early-career faculty members, emerging scholars, and graduate students.

To apply for the fellowship and learn more information about the program, view the application.