About the Center for Communal Studies and Collections
The Center for Communal Studies is located on the campus of the University of Southern Indiana at University Archives and Special Collections, room 3022 on the third floor of Rice Library. Our Reading Room is accessible during regular hours of University Archives (Monday through Friday, 8 am - 6 pm; closed weekends). The Center's administrative assistant is available Monday and Wednesday, 8 am - 4 pm, and Archives staff are there to assist at other times.
The Center for Communal Studies promotes the study of contemporary and historic communal groups, intentional communities and utopias. Established in 1976 at the University of Southern Indiana, the Center encourages and facilitates meetings, classes, scholarship, publications, networking and public interest in communal groups past and present, here and abroad.
The rich research resources of the Center are housed in the Special Collections/University Archives in the David L. Rice Library. The Center archives hold primary and secondary materials on more than one hundred historic communes and several hundred collective, cooperative and co-housing communities founded since 1965. Noted communal scholars have donated their private collections and their extensive research notes and papers to the Center archives.
In many ways, intentional communities are natural laboratories for understanding and addressing some of the contemporary challenges facing humanity: conflict resolution, sustainable living, land reform, and relations between individuals and society. The Center For Communal Studies offers unmatched resources for sociologists, anthropologists, economists and others, including active communitarians, interested in the lessons -- both successes and failures -- that intentional communities can offer to the larger world.