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Wells College Archives and Rare Book Collection: Online Collections

Online Collections

Portions of some of our collections have been digitized and are viewable online through This digitization was made possible by grants from the South Central Regional Library Council, and was completed by library staff members and student interns.

To visit the digitized collections of the Wells College Archives, please visit our page on NYHeritage

Some materials from these collections were not digitized due to size, condition, or copyright. If you are interested in viewing the entire collection, or the original of the digitized materials, please contact the archives at

Digitized Collections

Currently, items from the following collections are available on NYHeritage. Please visit the linked finding aids to learn more about the contents of the collection.

  • Frances Folsom Cleveland CollectionThe Frances Folsom Cleveland Collection contains many different articles and objects relating to Frances Folsom Cleveland (Preston). The collection covers her years as a student at Wells College, her years at the White House as the wife of President Grover Cleveland, and her years as Mrs. Thomas Preston.

  • Albert Leffingwell CollectionDr. Albert Leffingwell (1845-1916) was a physician, social reformer, and vocal advocate for vivisection reform, was born in Aurora, NY. Leffingwell authored many books, bringing to light the cruel abuses of animal experimentation and calling for regulation. He worked at the Dansville Sanatorium in Dansville, NY, had a private practice in New York City, and served as U.S. Consul to Warsaw in 1905. His wife, Elizabeth (née Fear) was also a doctor. His son, Albert Fear Leffingwell (1895-1946) was a pulp novelist who wrote mystery thrillers under the pen name Dana Chambers.

  • Victor Hammer CollectionVictor Hammer was born in Vienna in 1882. Hammer apprenticed as an architect at age 15 until he transferred in to the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. In 1922, Hammer moved to Florence, Italy where he set up a printing press and worked as a printer. In 1939, he and his wife fled Europe and settled in the U.S., eventually landing in Aurora, NY where he taught Art at Wells College. While at Wells, Hammer established the Wells College Press and his personal Hammer Press. During this time, he designed the "Aurora" and "American Unical" typefaces. In 1948, after retiring from Wells, Hammer moved to Lexington, Kentucky where he worked as Artist-in Residence at Transylvania College. Hammer died in 1967 at the age of 84. The collection contains personal correspondences, including request for information sent to Wells, a collection of print work from his time at Wells, along with, articles, newsprint, photographs, and bibliographic information on Hammer.

  • Emily Howland CollectionItems from the personal papers and library of abolitionist, suffragist, and peace activist Emily Howland, including her collection of political pamphlets, posters, and program documents.

Page from Albert Leffingwell Diary

Photograph of Frances Folsom Cleveland