Skip to main content
SSU ship logo and 'Salem State University' text
Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons

Research Tools & Collections

Education Resource Area (ERA)

The Education Resource Area (ERA) is on the 2nd floor of the the library. It includes over 29,000 books, journals & magazines, assessment tests & kits, and reference materials related to early childhood education. In addition, the ERA collection includes materials that bolster the curriculum, including the Test Collection, Global Resources, Leveled Readers, Big Books, and SELECT books.

Holocaust & Genocide Collection

In conjunction with Salem State University's Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, the Berry Library has a collection of nearly 2,000 circulating books on the Holocaust, Nazi Germany, comparative genocides, and post-genocide societies. Materials in the collection consist of titles from both the Harriot Tarnor Wacks Holocaust and Genocide Collection, and the Jill and Scott Sullivan Comparative Genocide Collection. Those materials are located on the Library’s 2nd floor. In addition to the circulating collection, the library has a special collection of holocaust survivor interviews and histories on DVD and VHS, held in the University's Archives & Special Collections

Digital Commons

Digital Commons home page imageDigital Commons at Salem State University provides online access to selected University Archives & Special Collections materials as well as a selection of the scholarly and creative works of the University community, such as student theses and faculty publications.

University Archives & Special Collections

Salem State University’s Archives & Special Collections preserves and provides access to materials that are rare, unique, or historical. The collections are housed in a 5,000 sq ft secure, climate-controlled facility on the ground floor of Berry Library. 

The collection includes the historical records of the university (1854-present) as well as thousands of books, documents, manuscripts, maps, photographs, videos, artifacts, and ephemera. These materials are housed in the climate-controlled, secure environment of the library because of their rarity, or because of their importance as part of a special collection, or both.

While these collections must be treated with special care, Materials may be viewed by Salem State faculty, staff, students as well as outside scholars, public historians, genealogists, and other researchers. Use of these collections is strongly encouraged and visitors to Archives & Special Collections are always welcome to make use of the collections.


Hours & Contact Information 

The Archives & Special Collections Reading Room is available by appointment only between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to  4 p.m., Monday - Friday. To arrange and plan your visit, please contact the archivist, Susan Edwards via email or by phone at 978-542-6781. The Archives & Special Collections Reading Room is located in Room G001 on the ground floor of Berry Library.



Salem State collects archival and rare materials in several specific areas of research, most notably: History of Salem State and the Salem Normal School, History of the City of Salem (mid-19th century – present); and archives of U.S. Congressional representatives from Essex County. 

Students exercising in the Salem Normal School
  • Salem State Archives: The university began as the Salem Normal School in 1854; it was started as part of Horace Mann’s effort to train teachers for the public schools. These schools were the first state institutions in the country with that mission. 
  • Salem History: The library collects materials that document Salem's history from all eras but collections are mostly focused on the 19th-century to the present.  We have records of organizations and personal papers from individuals and a wealth of photographs, postcards, advertising cards, and even old restaurant menus.
  • Historic Geography and Map Collection: The archives holds a large collection of historic maps with a focus on the New England region. We also collect books and printed materials, especially items related to the growth and development of Boston.
  • North Shore Political Collections:  We hold the collections and papers of several U.S. Congressmen, such as Representative Michael J. Harrington (D-MA). We also have the papers of state representatives and organizations that seek to affect public policy.