Colby’s libraries—Miller Library, the Art and Music Library, and the Science Library—have a rich collection of books, e-books, electronic and print journals, digital research collections, music scores, sound recordings, videos/DVDs, and manuscripts. Computer labs, wireless networks, laptops, study areas, and a digital media lab are available for student use in all three facilities.

Miller Library houses the humanities and social science collections, the College archives, and Special Collections. The lowest level in Miller, known as The Street, contains individual and group study space that is open 24 hours a day.

The Bixler Art and Music Library features an extensive collection of art and music books, journals, sound recordings, music scores, and a digital media lab.

The Science Library houses books, journals, and DVDs that support programs in the natural and physical sciences, computer science, and mathematics.

An on-campus, state-of-the-art, climate-controlled storage facility houses 40 percent of the collection. Items in the storage building may be requested and are delivered to faculty offices or to Miller Library for pickup.

In strong support of the curriculum, the libraries provide easy access to more than 1,250,000 items, including more than

  • 595,000 print volumes
  • 300 electronic indexes
  • 13,250 sound recordings
  • 13,000 videos (most on DVD)
  • 515 currently received print journals
  • 750,500 electronic books
  • 61,500 electronic journals,
  • extensive runs of periodicals, and domestic and international daily newspapers.

The Colby libraries are the only members of the HathiTrust and the Center for Research Libraries in Maine, providing increased access to otherwise unavailable primary sources.

As a member of the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin consortium and MaineCat, Colby provides access to a catalog of more than eight million items and six-day-a-week courier service from libraries in Maine. Additional resources are provided through interlibrary loan.

Research and instruction librarians provide research assistance to students, faculty, and outside researchers. Instruction in the use of the library and its research materials is offered throughout the curriculum, from an introduction in beginning English classes to in-depth subject searching using sophisticated tools in upper-level classes.

Colby Libraries Special Collections has achieved international recognition for its collections of first editions and literary manuscripts.

Some highlights:

  • The elegant Edwin Arlington Robinson Memorial Room, named for the Pulitzer Prize-winning Maine poet, is a venue for poetry readings and other public events, student presentations and exhibitions, and quiet study.
  • A robust archives education program in Special Collections also uses the Robinson Room for archival labs that connect hundreds of students each academic year with rich archival collections and rare books, supporting innovative teaching with primary sources. Major literary collections of books, manuscripts, letters, and memorabilia include Robinson, Thomas Hardy, Vernon Lee, Sarah Orne Jewett, Henry James, and Bern Porter.
  • An extensive James Augustine Healy Collection focuses on the Irish Literary Renaissance (1880-1940).
  • In 2006, Special Collections acquired the personal papers of former Maine Poet Laureate Wesley McNair.
  • The Alfred King Chapman Room houses the College archives, which documents the College’s development over 200 years. An extensive collection of alumni files is drawn upon for archival labs, student scholarship, and family history research.

Detailed information about Colby’s library collections, services, and hours is provided at colby.edu/libraries/.