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Mary E. Ambler Archives

In 1827, Lindenwood University was founded in an effort to provide a Protestant-based education to the young women of the region. Since that time, Lindenwood has experienced a change that has reflected the culture of the Midwestern United States, always with the intention of helping young men and women acquire the skills to become useful citizens. The archives seeks to centralize access to all university publications, minutes, and reports relating to the university. Currently, the archives contains approximately 5,500 linear feet of records.

The primary goal of the Mary E. Ambler Archives is to be a tool that Lindenwood faculty and students will find useful in the research of institutional and regional topics. The archives intends to make additional resources available in the future to Missourians and researchers abroad by making content accessible through digitization.

Collection Development Policy


The Mary E. Ambler Archives is located within the Learning and Academic Resource Center on the campus of Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri.

The goal of the Archives is to serve as a destination for primary resource research among Lindenwood University’s students and faculty. Current holdings of institutional records include unpublished documents, books, periodicals, newspapers, photographs, digital files, and artwork. The Archives has placed a priority to expand its holdings of hard copy and digital materials on:

  1. Archival materials that supplement the Sporting News Collection and Sports history.
  2. Lindenwood founders, George and Mary Sibley
  3. Subjects related to Lindenwood history within a 75-mile radius of St. Charles County, St. Louis City and County and material from Illinois
  4. Missouri history that informs Lindenwood University’s history and/or research needs.
  5. The Early American Frontier
  6. Women’s Colleges


The Mary E. Ambler Archives holds extensive subject files containing information about past Lindenwood presidents, faculty, students, and events. Materials include: yearbooks, course catalogs, photographs, student newspapers, Lindenwood publications, and meeting minutes. The Archivist actively collects records for the Archives from Lindenwood University campus departments, committees, and offices.

A large portion of the original papers of George and Mary Sibley can be found at Lindenwood. (For most of the Sibley papers not owned by the university, Lindenwood has transcripts available for research purposes.) Included among this collection is the personal library which belonged to the Sibleys.

In 2020, Lindenwood acquired the Sporting News Collection from the American City and Business Journals. Included in this archival collection are many papers of Charles Spink and J.G. Taylor Spink. This collection is currently being processed.

Additional highlights found in the archives include the Conoyer Political Button Collection, the personal library of U.S. Senator James A. Reed, and the artwork of Louise Leak.

Access to Materials

The Archives is open to the public by appointment with the Archivist or other Archives staff for any necessary access to physical items (when appropriate) or for consultation concerning research needs.

Archives staff develop and maintain the Archives with support from the Technical Services Librarian, and/or Dean of the Library, as needed.

Digital records of many currently cataloged objects are available at the Mary E Ambler Online Collections Database.

While housed in the Mary E. Ambler Archives, Lindenwood University Theses, Dissertations and certain monographs are cataloged and discoverable in the Lindenwood University Library Catalog.

Institutional Repository

In December 2020, Lindenwood University entered into an agreement to implement an Institutional Repository to further the mission and values of Lindenwood University and be a means of digital access to Archival materials, faculty and student produced research and scholarship resources, and institutional policies. Under supervision of University Archivist, initial transfer of content will begin in April 2021.

Donation Guidelines

In unique circumstances, the archives will acquire outside of the scope of the core collection development policy if it is determined to be useful for educational and research purposes.

Donors must sign a release form that will give Lindenwood free use and ownership of the material being offered.

Removal from Collection

Lindenwood University reserves the right to de-accession or transfer materials out of the Archives if the Archivist or Dean of the Library deems that another repository should own and house the materials.

While it is the Archives’ intent to house historical materials in perpetuity, its collections must be periodically and systematically evaluated. Any items removed from the Archives will be discarded, shredded, or donated if condition allows.

Types of materials that could be subject to removal from the Archives:

  1. Materials that no longer meet the collection development criteria.
  2. Materials that become unstable in physical nature and pose a health risk, such as those affected by mold, water damage, pests, or other unforeseen conditions.

Policy Review

This collection development policy will be reviewed bi-annually and modifications made when appropriate.

Circulation Policy

Due to the unique nature of many of the items in the archives, items do not circulate and can only be viewed during the normal hours of operation.

Photocopies and Scans

Archives staff will photocopy or scan material at the researcher’s expense when such duplication can be done without injury to the material and does not violate copyright restrictions or restrictions imposed by agreement with the donor. We do not duplicate entire archival collections or all the text of individual books, manuscripts, or boxes of material. Use of personal copiers or scanners is prohibited. The use of cameras is acceptable within the aforementioned parameters.

Copies are provided for the researcher's personal use only and are not to be transferred to another individual or institution without the permission of the Lindenwood - Mary E. Ambler Archives. Provision of copies does not constitute permission to publish.

Lindenwood University
209 S. Kingshighway
St. Charles, MO 63301