In March 1835, the Presbytery of Concord resolved to establish a Manual Labor School for “securing the means of Education to young Men within our bounds of hopeful talents & piety.”

Exactly two years later—in March 1837—the first students arrived at Davidson College. The town developed alongside the school and was incorporated in 1879. The College Archives contains records dating back to the founding of the college and the town and traces their histories through wars, segregation, integration and co-education.

Archival and Manuscript Collections

Documents about college and local history can be found in archival collections, which contain records created by Davidson College, and manuscript collections, which supplement the archival documentation of the college’s and town’s activities.

Archival Materials in ArchivesSpace

Manuscript Collections in ArchivesSpace

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Davidsoniana Files

Davidsoniana Files, also known as “D-Files,” primarily contain secondary source information and are housed in Archives & Special Collections. They include newspaper articles, scanned memos, brochures and pamphlets, memorial speeches, and booklets. These files also hold scans of primary documents, such as diaries and letters, from other institutions.

List of Davidsoniana Files

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College and student publications, including yearbooks, newspapers, and handbooks, contain information, photos, and anecdotes about both college and town history. In addition to college publications, the Archives & Special Collections includes books that have been written about Davidson or provide context for understanding Davidson history. 

College Publications in Digital Davidson 

Student Publication in Digital Davidson 

Publications in DigitalNC  

List of Books, Articles, and Theses about Davidson

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Exhibits and Initiatives

Archives, Special Collections, and Community staff have created and contributed to campus initiatives, student projects, and digital exhibits on college and local history, including:

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