Collections

University Archives & Historical Collections (UAHC) maintains historical collections that support faculty and student research and classroom instruction. UAHC also provides records management services to the university and preserves and provides access to the institution’s historical records.

Most of our finding aids are available in this directory by their collection identifier. A list of the collection titles can be found here. There are also brief descriptions accessible through the MSU Library Catalog. Paper copies of finding aids for all processed collections are available in 101 Conrad Hall. Alternative access points for searching our collections are through a Google search box, ArchiveGrid or Worldcat. For more information, contact UAHC at (517) 355-2330 or archives@msu.edu.

The holdings of UAHC include:

University records

UAHC maintains all permanent records of Michigan State University regardless of format. These records are arranged by the creating office and follow the organizational design of the university.

These records include, but are not limited to:

  • Minutes of the Board of Trustees
  • Papers of MSU presidents
  • Records of academic colleges and departments
  • Intercollegiate athletics records
  • Records of the Cooperative Extension Service

UAHC also collects the papers of faculty, alumni, and student organizations.

University records group numbers

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Historical collections

The historical collections contain papers, records, diaries, photographs, and correspondence that support the research of faculty and students but do not relate to Michigan State University.

These collections originate from individuals, families, organizations, and businesses. The materials primarily pertain to Michigan and the Great Lakes region. Collection highlights include the Civil War, lumbering and environmental collections, and materials related to the automobile industry.

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University publications

There are more than 1,000 publication titles in UAHC. These date back to the earliest days of the university and include course catalogs, directories, and yearbooks. The publications also include student publications and departmental newsletters.

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Photographic collections

The UAHC has a rich collection of photographic images that are composed of more than 50,000 prints and half a million negatives. The collections also include tintypes, ambrotypes, daguerreotypes, lantern slides, cyanotypes, and postcards.

The images related to Michigan State University include the campus, buildings, athletics, faculty, and students. The images from the Historical Collections include agriculture, lumbering, the Lansing and East Lansing areas, and family photographs.

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Other materials

The UAHC has a wide variety of audio-visual materials including maps, drawings, blueprints, movies, video, and audio recordings of university events, people, and places.

Film holdings primarily relate to MSU athletics. Oral history materials in the collections are composed of both university records and materials from outside the institution. Some interviews from the Sesquicentennial Oral History Project have been digitized and put online at http://onthebanks.msu.edu/sohp/

General reference materials include course catalogs, annual reports from the State Board of Agriculture, and yearbooks.

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