The University Archives holds materials related to the history and current programs of the University, including administrative records, campus publications, and photographs. In addition, the Archives holds personal papers, scrapbooks, correspondence, and other items deposited by current and former University faculty, staff and students. Its collections include particularly strong documentation regarding educational administration, science and technology, agriculture and student life at the University. It will have much of interest to those studying the ethnography of the University.
To make the best use of the Archives, you must understand that they are organized and accessed differently than other parts of the University Library system. You should also be aware that some of the materials held in the Archives are also available in other Libraries around campus.
Archives are the non-current, organized records of an organization, but the word "archives" also refers to the location (i.e. building or room) where archives are held. Archives differ from books in that they are not bound and are more loosely organized. They are usually stored in boxes and file folders. Archival materials can be used only the reference room, not borrowed. All archives require special care in handling, and some materials may be very fragile.
Archives are organized to mirror the structure of the organization that produced them, in this case the University. For example, records relating to the University's Afro-American Studies Program are classified together, but records relating to the experience of African-Americans at the University might be found throughout the Archives. Information on the history of African-Americans at the University may be found in the papers of the History department, the president's office, and many other campus units. Within any group of archives, the documents are arranged as they were when actively used by the office. For that reason, you should always keep the archives in the order in which you found them.
A good question to ask yourself when searching for archival material is "who might have created records that would answer my question?" Each set of archives (what the archives staff calls a record series) is listed and indexed in our online database. The record series descriptions found in the database can be searched in several ways. You can enter a search term, browse the records of an individual office or individual, or browse all records related to a particular subject heading, regardless of which office created them.
When you find something of interest to you in the database, be sure to record the record series number and bring it to the Archives so we can retrieve the materials in which you are interested. The record series number is a three part number that looks like this: 26/20/37. The Archives has two service locations. Room 19, Main Library, and the Archives Research Center (1707 S. Orchard). Make sure you visit the correct location for the materials you would like to view.