Donating University Records

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For Departments and Offices: Transferring Records to the University Archives


The University Archives, located in Deering Library, is the official repository for all University records of administrative or historical value. If your filing cabinets, closets, or other storage areas are overflowing with records you rarely use, contact the University Archives (847) 491-3354 for a consultation. If we determine that the records have administrative or historical value, they will be transferred to the Archives, organized according to archival standards, and stored in a secure, climate-controlled environment. An inventory of their contents will be prepared, and you will be able to consult the records at any time during the University Archives' regular hours.

What are University Records? They consist of materials created, received, or accumulated by a unit or employee of Northwestern University in the conduct of University business. In general, these records include files maintained by central administrative offices, schools and colleges, centers, departments, committees, and all other units of the University. Such files include, but are not limited to, correspondence, memoranda, minutes, working papers, audio and video recordings, photographs, and publications. Formats include paper-based records as well as records created, transmitted, or stored electronically.

Please add the University Archives to your mailing lists
The University Archives would like one copy of every publication generated by your office, whether produced in paper or digital/electronic format. Publications we collect include books, newsletters, annual reports, magazines, catalogs, brochures, notices, posters, announcements, and flyers.

In addition, please place the University Archives ( on your distribution lists for all electronically-distributed publications, such as newsletters, minutes, etc.

Questions about what the University Archives can do for you? Call us, download the PDF version of this notice, call us, or send us an email.  

Faculty are encouraged to send a copy of each of their publications, including off-prints of articles, to the University Archives.

For a complete checklist of faculty materials sought by the Archives see this document.

The University Archives will strictly enforce all restrictions on access to confidential records.

The University Archives serves as the collective historical memory of the Northwestern Community. In addition to preserving your records, the University Archives' staff can answer questions about the history of the University. Need vintage photos for a new brochure, historical tidbits about your department for its Web site? Ask us! And you can stay current with the University's past by subscribing to the Archives' monthly e-newsletter or RSS feed.


SEE ALSO Northwestern University Policy on Records Retention and Disposition: 

This document and its appendix outline what goes to the Archives and what doesn't---but never hesitate to call the Archives before making a final decision or if you have questions!