Previously located on the top floor of the Olivet College’s Burrage Library, Olivet College’s archival collection, which extends back to the college’s founding in 1844, grew for decades due to the generosity of proud alumni and under the care of loving volunteers. In 2013, alumni Bob and Sarah Lawrence made a generous donation to formalize the archives to manage the collection and expand the archives’ role on campus. Dr. Nikki Magie, a professor and historian, was hired as the archivist and soon recruited two student interns. As Dr. Magie began to invite more and more students to volunteer and intern as student researchers, it quickly became evident that a larger, more permanent home was necessary for the Olivet College Archives.
In 2017, thanks to the continued generosity of the Lawrence family and several other donors, construction began on the Hosford’s historic renovation and the addition of an attached state-of-the-art building to better house the college’s collections in a secure, humidity-controlled, and fireproof environment. The Hosford History Center and Lawrence Archives opened in the spring of 2019 as part of the college’s 175th anniversary as a chronological walk-through-time museum and archives with offices, meeting rooms, student workspaces, and a café.