Explore college history through our archives and special collections.

Peer into the College’s Past

Are you interested in college history, or would you like to see a photograph of your professor as a student? Make an appointment today to visit our archives and special collections area of the library, and see our ever expanding collection of college and Norbertine memories.

While you’re here, don’t forget to check out our collections of college beanies, Lloyd Alexander illustrations and Madeline L’Engle materials.

Explore our digital collections of photographs, yearbook images, and manuscripts dating back to the settling of the area.  Or, enjoy our ever growing list of exhibits.


Documents, records, photographs, articles, audio-visual materials, publications, manuscripts and scrapbooks that document the the history of the college, in both physical and digital collections.

Special Collections

The Special Collections of the Archives houses many different collections of materials. Many of our special collections are available in online exhibits:

Abbot Pennings
Father Pennings, president of St. Norbert College for 57 years, began his life in America as a missionary. He moved to De Pere within five years, was blessed as the first American Norbertine in 1925, witnessed the growth of the College into a fully accredited American institution of higher learning, and in his declining years in a press conference stated, “The best thing 'we' ever did was to found St. Norbert College.”

Confessions of Saint Augustine 
St. Norbert College Archives is the home to the Klimon Collection of editions of the “Confessions” by St. Augustine. The collection includes more than 75 editions of the “Confessions” written in many different languages dating from the sixteenth century. St. Augustine was the fifth century bishop and doctor of the church whose rules St. Norbert adopted in 1121 after he founded the order.

Collection of Fr. Anselm Keefe
He was a priest, biologist, teacher, military chaplain and a dean. He provided almost 50 years of service to St. Norbert College, and was its dean from 1927-1941 and 1941-1946. In addition to his specimen collection in the college herbarium, Fr. Keefe collected rare botany books, which are housed in special collections. A collection of photographs archived digitally can be found on Recollection Wisconsin.

Collection of Gordon Parmentier
Francis Gordon Parmentier (1923 - 2008), composer and native of Green Bay, who attended St. Norbert College. Parmentier served in the military in France during World War II. After completing his military service, he attended the Sorbonne Conservatory of Music in Paris and received an advanced degree in music composition. His most famous work is the opera, The Lost Dauphin. His estate donated his papers to the Mulva Archives in 2003. 

Collection of John Bennett
John Bennett (professor emeritus of English) is considered a great poet, teacher and writer. Bennett, a Melville Scholar, has published the two well-known books “Griefs and Exultations,” first published by the St. Norbert College Press, and “The Struck Leviathan: Poems on Moby Dick.”

Collection of Lloyd Alexander 
In Aug. 2012, Robert Boyer (professor emeritus of English) donated his personal collection of Lloyd Alexander's published works. The collection also includes correspondence between Boyer and Alexander, including Christmas cards and letters. Lloyd Alexander had been a very successful author in young adult fantasy literature. His works include “Time Cat,” “The Chronicles of Prydain,” and “The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio”.

Collection on Main Hall at St. Norbert College
This collection of materials on St. Norbert College's Main Hall built 1901-1903 includes the early planning for the building and original architectural plans. Major remodeling in 1956 and again in 1982-83, with a major renovation in 1988-90, including a rededication brochure and information of Sept. 1990. Main Hall was named to the National Register of Historic Places in Aug. 1990. Many photographs of Main Hall taken before the 1990 renovation are in this collection. Additional photos are in the photograph collection in room 224 of the archives.

Collection on Todd Wehr Hall at St. Norbert College
This collection of materials on St. Norbert College's Todd Wehr Hall include local, state and college news releases on the planning and dedication, invitations to the dedication, the invocation speech, many photographs, as well as an overall history of libraries at the college.

De Pere Christian Outreach
This archive collection contains information about the De Pere Christian Outreach (DPCO). It includes several financial reports, news articles about the DPCO and the partnering food pantry, photographs of various service projects, and information about the DPCO.

Norbertine Missions Project
The Norbertine abbey of Grimbergen had a failed mission in the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia in the first half of the 20th century. Here are collected documents relating to that mission until its end near World War II. This collection is the first undertaking of the Center for Norbertine Studies' current project to find and digitize all materials relating to Norbertine missionary activity from 1870 to the present and specifically until 1965.

Rare Book Collection
The archives houses an extensive collection of old and rare books, many relating to Norbertine history. In addition, the collection also contains a collection of rare botany books collected by Fr. Anselm Keefe.

Recollection Wisconsin
This collection provides digital access to cultural heritage resources that reside in institutions around the state. An ever-growing number of libraries, archives, museums and historical societies are providing digital photographs, manuscripts, books, articles, sound recordings, diaries, artwork and artifacts to the program. Currently, there are more than 55,000 such resources available through the portal.

The Next Step
In 2013, Karina O’Malley, former Professor of Sociology, donated her collection of documents, newsclippings and photographs from The Next Step, a homelessness project begun at St. Norbert College. This project became the impetus for the first homeless shelter in Green Bay/De Pere area. The Next Step organization was very involved in the homelessness movement in the United States, and this collection documents growth of the program.

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