University of New England - Innovation for a Healthier Planet

Collecting Policy


UNE’s Special Collections serves as a home for teaching and learning around primary sources at the university. We are an internship site and a hub for collaboration with faculty across colleges. Special Collections draws on the rich holdings of the Maine Women Writers Collection (MWWC), New England Osteopathic Heritage Center (NEOHC) and the Sandra and Bernard Featherman University Archives to enhance experiential learning at UNE. The MWWC, NEOHC and Featherman University Archives have their own policies and procedures separate from Special Collections.

Materials within our collections receive special care because of format, value, rarity, provenance, storage needs, and other considerations. We aim to make our collections as accessible as possible through engagement with students in courses, increasing digitization, exhibits, and searchable finding aids. Researchers from the UNE community and beyond are invited to use our collections on either campus, by appointment.


Our collections support teaching and research in the undergraduate curriculum, faculty research and scholarship, and offer experiential learning opportunities to students in a wide range of disciplines.

Active Collecting Areas

Special Collections seeks books, manuscripts, archives, artists’ books, zines, audio/visual materials, ephemera, and digital objects that support the teaching and research areas of UNE’s undergraduate curriculum. Areas of focus include arts and humanities, environmental studies, marine science, and the history of the region and its inhabitants. We seek materials that reflect diverse, underrepresented and unheard voices; and reflect the cultures and social identities of the university’s community.

  • Maine history, including Wabanaki history and Franco-American culture, supports teaching and experiential learning in history.
  • War-time letters and ephemera add to the already-rich World War I and II letters collected by Randall J. Cushing, which have been used extensively in history courses.
  • Food and nutrition, including historical cookbooks and recipes, offer support to history and nutrition courses.
  • Health narratives, health humanities, and patient narratives in various forms (artists’ books, literature, zines, etc.) form a core area of focus for a broad number of courses taught at UNE.
  • Environmental history, climate change narratives, and other materials documenting Maine’s environment and the broader field of environmental studies.
  • Artists’ books, small press publications, and zines support teaching in the humanities and arts, and offer a medium for diversifying the collection and representing a broader number of voices and perspectives than do traditional published works.