University Archives

The Special Collections Library documents the history of Penn State through its University Archives. The University Archives collects, manages, and provides access to historic materials that document Penn State institutional history, in all formats (analog and digital), including:

  • Administrative and academic records of the University determined to have long term administrative, fiscal, legal, or informational value as defined by University-adopted records retention schedules*

  • Papers of faculty demonstrating:

    • Significant contributions to their respective field

    • Exemplary administrative and/or teaching contributions to the University

    • Correlation to the collection development mission of the Special Collections Library

  • Records of student organizations and related material documenting student life at Penn State

  • University publications, including student yearbooks, the Daily Collegian, directories, handbooks, and other published material

*All University records are subject to University Policy AD35 – University Archives and Records Management, and the general guidelines for retention and disposition. For more information, visit the Records Management website.

Transferring Material to the University Archives

If you wish to donate materials to the University Archives, please contact the University Archivist using the University Archives Transfer Request Form:

Once your request has been received, University Archives staff will:

  • Contact you to:

    • Schedule the transfer of materials

    • Provide guidance on preparing materials for transfer

  • Appraise the transferred materials for historical value (typically around one month, contingent upon resources and volume of material)

  • Work with you to decide the disposition of materials not to be retained by the University Archives (destroy or transfer to the Inactive Records Center)

  • Define an appropriate frequency for future transfers

  • Formally document the accession of materials and prioritize them for processing

Access to University Archives Collections

Collections in the University Archives are discoverable online via publicly accessible finding aids, and accessible to all researchers onsite in the Special Collections Reading Room. Please refer to the Special Collections homepage for more information about our research services and planning a visit.

The University Archives makes records available according to University Policies  AD35 and AD95.