University of Illinois Collections

The Student Life and Culture Archival Program collects, preserves, and makes available materials documenting student involvement in fraternities, sororities, student life and culture at the University of Illinois.

Academic Affairs and Administrative Records

Academic Affairs records including administrative materials such as student records, course catalogs, academic requirements, enrollment statistics, financial information, admissions records, counseling placement, Dean’s offices, Dean’s personal papers, research reports, financial aid, governance and discipline, employment, commencement, and college and departmental records including course syllabi, lecture notes, and assignments.

Student Housing

A major part of a students’ life at the University is spent in a housing unit. Housing policy reflected the financial support and community conditions as the University sought to provide accommodations for its increasing enrollment. The original university building contained a dormitory which was used until 1880 when it was damaged in a storm and razed. From 1886 to 1941, most male students lived in clubs and rooming houses in Champaign and Urbana.

After the 1890s a minority lived in fraternity houses. The University built the first dormitories for men in 1941. All female students lived in rooming houses and clubs until sororities organized in the 1890s. In 1919, they occupied the first women’s dormitory. Most of the information on clubs and rooming houses is found in student scrapbooks and papers. The photograph collection contains group photographs of student rooming house residents.

Student Organizations Records

Thousands of organizations reflect student interests in associating with other students with common academic, ethnic, political, professional, recreational, religious and social interests. For example, Student Organizations Publications (41/6/840), includes copies of printed documents, promotional brochures, bulletin board announcements, and related issuances from 2,548 student organizations. Student Organization Constitutions and Registration Cards (41/2/41), show date, name, address and purpose of 989 organizations.

Many students donated the records of their organization or Greek house.

Student Publications

Numerous publications have been created by students from the very beginnings of the University, including newspapers, yearbooks, special publications, literary publications, campus humor, political, radio station publications, and Galesburg-Chicago publications.

Personal Papers and Scrapbooks

In addition to University organizations, students and alumni deposited personal documents connected to their time at the University of Illinois. Materials take the form of letters, receipts, schoolwork, event programs, photo albums, and scrapbooks. These collections allow an intimate view into the daily life of previous generations of students.

Student Services Records

Many records relating to Academic Affairs may overlap with services provided to a particular demographic of student, including new students, freshman, African Americans, women, international students, and veterans. Other student services more broadly related to the entire campus community include the Illini Union, health services, intercollegiate sports, and the intramural athletic program.