The Special Collections Department houses these five collections:
Frostburg State University began as State Normal School #2 at Frostburg with an amendment to the 1898 Appropriation bill for the state of Maryland. Since that time the name has changed from Frostburg State Teachers College in 1933/34, Frostburg State College in 1964, and Frostburg State University in 1987.
Materials on the history of the University include catalogs, yearbooks (Nemacolin), student handbook (The Pathfinder), faculty handbooks, University governance minutes, published materials, and more. Also included are masters' theses and publications by students, staff, and faculty.
Mr. Jansen was a local chemist, astronomer, and historian with an interest in classic science fiction. In 1990, he bequeathed his collection to the University. The principal portion of the collection is the rich assortment of over 1,000 titles of paperback and hardbound science fiction books from the 1950s and 1960s. At present, the collection is indexed but not in the catalog. Please see the Special Collections Librarian for assistance.
Materials in the collection contain works by and/or about Western Maryland citizens, local history, geography/geology, and more about Allegany and Garrett Counties. Included are the surrounding counties in Pennsylvania (Somerset and Bedford) and the surrounding counties in West Virginia (Mineral, Hardy, Grant, Tucker, and Preston). Some information on Washington County is included since Allegany County was formed from Washington County in 1789.
Information about coal and mining, including histories of the mining companies, annual reports of the Bureau of Mines, and ancillary information, will be located here.
Historical works on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, Western Maryland Railroad, and various railroads associated with the mining companies are also housed in Special Collections.
Maps pertaining to the early history of the area can be viewed within the Special Collections. Many of the maps are dated prior to 1900.
Dr. John J. Rutledge was Maryland's first chief mining engineer and served in that position for twenty five years. Through the generosity of his daugher, Alma Rutledge Goldberg, the Ort Library obtained numerous maps, coal and coal mining materials, and other documents relevant to the coal mining industry of Western Maryland.
John Kennedy Lacock, a native of Western Pennsylvania, developed a keen interest in General Edward Braddock and the march to Fort Duquesne in spring of 1755. During the early 1900s, Lacock set about retracing Braddock's trek to what is now Pittsburgh, PA. Lacock wrote a book, numerous newspaper articles, and collected photographs of the men as they explored the Road. The Dr. David M. Gillespie Special Collections has the materials, donated by Voy Lacock, which can be used to view the Road nearly 150 years later.
Also in the collection are the materials from Bob Bantz, area resident, who walked the Road with a GPS. Bantz donated his maps and collection of photographs for viewing.