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about university archives


The university and surrounding area, 1795. University Papers, #40005.

University Archives is the official repository for the historically valuable, unpublished records of both the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the major administrative offices of the UNC System headquartered in Chapel Hill. As such, University Archives has a mission to collect, preserve, and make accessible the records generated by all segments of the campus community. Records in our holdings date from the chartering of the university in 1789 to the present, and include minute books of the Board of Trustees; correspondence of chancellors, presidents, provosts, and deans; minutes of faculty meetings; files of academic and administrative departments; reports of faculty committees; and records of faculty and student organizations.

Information about these holdings is available through UNC Libraries' online catalog, which includes links to detailed finding aids that are also available through our collections overview page. All processed record groups have finding aids that can be accessed online.

Processed record groups are open and available for research at the Wilson Special Collections Library. Unprocessed record groups can be made available for research, but we require researchers to contact the University Archivist in advance to determine the availability of those record groups. Materials are non-circulating, and although no appointment is necessary, registration is required. Planning your visit in advance is suggested. For more-detailed information regarding research and access policy, please refer to Wilson Library's research and registration policies.

For university-affiliated visitors: Information regarding the transfer of your department or organization's records can be found on the transferring records page. For other visitors who wish to donate materials to University Archives, please visit our donor policy page.


The university's historical records were initially deposited in the Southern Historical Collection, founded in 1930. By the end of the 1950s, the volume of university records had grown so large that they were segregated from the collections of private papers. The position of University Archivist was created in 1973. In February 1978, Chancellor Ferebee Taylor recognized University Archives as the official repository for university records. With a grant from the the National Historical and Public Records Commission in 1991, the university undertook a comprehensive survey of university records, leading to the creation of Records Management Services.


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