Special Collections Research Center

University Records Policies

Role of the University Archives
The University of Chicago Archives collects and preserves official records, documents, publications, digital and electronic files, audio-visual media, and other materials in all formats documenting the history of the University of Chicago and the work of its trustees, faculty, administrators, staff, students, donors, and alumni. The University Archives forms part of the Special Collections Research Center, the University of Chicago Library’s principal repository for rare books, manuscripts, and archives.

Definition of University Records
University records are the administrative files, documents, publications, and other materials created by administrators and staff in the course of official business and management of programs at the University of Chicago. These materials include:

  • minutes and other records of the Board of Trustees; minutes and other records of administrative boards, committees, and faculty bodies of the University;
  • administrative records of the University President, Provost, Vice Presidents, and other officers of the central administration of the University;
  • administrative records of all academic divisions, professional schools, departments, institutes, laboratories, offices, centers, programs, and committees of the University;
  • administrative records of the University of Chicago Press, University Library, University alumni relations and development, continuing education, the Laboratory Schools, and all other educational and institutional programs of the University.

Policy for Preserving University Records
All records and documents created in the course of official business and management of programs at the University of Chicago are the property of the University. Administrators and staff in the offices where records and documents are created are responsible for the management, preservation, and security of these records so long as they remain in active use. Records, documents, publications, and other materials that are no longer in active use continue to have institutional, legal, and historical value and should be preserved. Inactive records and files should not be discarded or dispersed in any way until the University Archives has reviewed the material and made a decision about disposition and transfer to the Archives.

Policy for University Records Access and Use
Administrators and staff in offices that have created University records will continue to have access to these records after they are transferred to the custody of the University Archives. Access to official University records in the University Archives by other researchers is governed by the Regulations Governing Access to Official Records of the University of Chicago in the University of Chicago Archives. During any period of research restriction for designated University records, no access to the restricted material is permitted by the University Archives without the prior written approval of the Secretary of the University, Provost, dean, director, chair, or other authorized University officer.