The Student Life and Culture Archives* (SLC) was founded in 1989 through the generous endowment of the Stewart S. Howe Foundation. It is a vibrant program whose mandate is to document, make accessible, and promote both University of Illinois student life and culture and the national history of fraternal organizations .

Illinois alumnus Stewart S. Howe ’28 was founder and owner of the Stewart S. Howe Alumni Service, which provided management, public relations, and fund-raising assistance to fraternities, sororities, and institutions of higher education. He had a life-long interest in higher education and was a dedicated collector of material dealing with fraternal organizations and other areas of college life. His world-renowned collection is the centerpiece of the SLC Archives.

SLC is located in the historic Horticulture Field Laboratory, which was built in 1926 for agriculture research at the University of Illinois.  As it turns out, insulated vaults originally built to keep apples fresh work very well for archival material!


Our dual focus areas – fraternal organization history and student life at the University of Illinois – are reflected in the materials we collect and make available.

The Student Life and Culture Archives actively documents the history and traditions of student life and culture at the University of Illinois through alumni and student papers (including diaries, scrapbooks, correspondence, and photographs), student organization records, administrative office records, oral histories, and student publications.

*formerly known as the Student Life and Culture Archival Program