Manuscript title page--Catalog of the Library of Amherst College
Click to explore the finding aid for the Library Records Collection in the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections!

Introduction to the Library Project

Today, Frost Library is at the core of intellectual and academic life at Amherst College, but what was the library’s significance in the Amherst community during the early years of the College? Towards a response to this question, this project uses data visualization to elucidate the place of the libraries within intellectual networks at the college from about 1830 to 1840, comparing the contents of the College Library to two other significant intellectual components of Amherst College in its early history: the college curriculum and the two major student literary societies. 

Exploring the Library Project

Before we begin, if you’d like to brush up on your history of the Amherst College Library, click here. Otherwise, follow the links below to explore the data visualizations!

The first visualization compares the college library in the 1830s-40s to concurrent student-assembled literary society libraries.

The second visualization compares the contents of the college library with the contents of the curriculum in the academic year 1838-39.