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Archives & Special Collections Department: Home

Home to the historical records of Bowie State University, including publications and photographs. Here you'll also find Special Collections materials such as rare books, manuscript collections, records of local organizations, vertical files, and ephemera.

Archives & Special Collections Hours

Archives & Special Collection Request Form

The Archives & Special Collection is open by appointment only. Please submit your request from this online form.


Contact the Library Administrative Office at 301.860-3850

Our Mission Statement

The Department of Archives and Special Collections (ARSPC) in the Thurgood Marshall Library of Bowie State University is the repository of record for inactive permanent records that document the activities, policies35 Year Anniversary Button, administration and history of Bowie State University (University Archives). Special Collections acquires materials that serve to enhance the understanding of the University and its history by documenting local, regional, and national African-American history and education, and maintains existing collections of organizations, individuals, and historic materials.

The primary mission of ARSPC is to acquire, arrange, describe, preserve and make accessible the primary source materials documenting the history and administration of Bowie State University, in accordance with accepted archival principles. In keeping with the library's commitment to serve students, faculty, and the community, ARSPC promotes the use of these materials by the Bowie State University community, scholars, and the public. In addition the staff of ARSPC will disseminate information about the holdings of Archives & Special Collections through online catalogs, bibliographic instruction, exhibits, and campus publications.


Torch of Knowledge: A History of Bowie State UniversityNow Available! The Torch of Knowledgeour limited edition, full-color, fully-illustrated 200-page book on the history of Bowie State University. The authors, Drs. George and Esther Ward Simmons, researched in depth to provide a definitive exploration into the earliest origins of the school just after the Civil War in Baltimore, to the current times as a liberal arts university.

In addition, copies of some of the external source materials for the book are now available in the BSU History Documents Copies Collection (AR-025), 1843-2002 (comprised of 2 document boxes and one oversize folder, extent 1.0 linear feet). Please see the inventory of the contents below.