About the University Archives

Special Collections is charged with collecting, preserving, administering, and providing access to the University Archives. Holdings include non-current University records of historic value and a variety of other materials, including photographs and publications. The University Archives are non-circulating and may be used by faculty, students, and the public under regular Reading Room rules.

Transferring Records to the University Archives

We welcome historical archives and records from the administrative offices, campus organizations, and student groups. Please contact us at (530) 752‑1621 or speccoll@lib.ucdavis.edu to discuss the records that you wish to transfer to the University Archives.

Special Collections at the University Library is the repository for the University Archives and collects the non-current records of historical value for the University. The Archives preserves and makes these documents available for research and instruction. Special Collections provides reference assistance and an environmentally sound storage location for archival materials. It is our role to preserve the history of the University's activities and accomplishments.

Reminder: The University Archives will only have a record of your activities if you submit materials to Special Collections. Please deposit a historical record of your activities.

The following guidelines are intended to assist in identifying those portions of files that are appropriate for transfer to Special Collections.

Records commonly transferred to the University Archives include:

  • Memoranda
  • Architectural records,
  • Bylaws and revisions,
  • Committee and task force reports,
  • Constitution and revisions,
  • Legal documents,
  • Minutes of meetings,
  • Organizational charts,
  • Planning documents,
  • Policy documents,
  • Reports,
  • Rosters,
  • Surveys
Office files
  • Activities and functions,
  • Project files,
  • Subject files
  • Budgets,
  • Financial statements
  • Announcements,
  • Brochures,
  • Directories,
  • Handbooks,
  • Histories,
  • Monographs,
  • Newsletters,
  • Pamphlets,
  • Posters,
  • Press Releases,
  • Programs,
  • Serials (or Periodicals)
Audio Visual materials
  • Artwork (of historical University interest),
  • Audio recordings,
  • Motion Pictures,
  • Photographs,
  • Slides,
  • Video recordings
  • Awards,
  • Certificates,
  • Clippings,
  • Scrapbooks,
  • Speeches,
  • University realia

Records that should NOT be transferred to the Archives include:

  • Personnel files, including tenure review files.
  • Student records, e.g. grade sheets.
  • Current records that are in constant or continual use.
  • All duplicate materials: submit only the original copy and annotated copies with significant notes or changes.
  • Preliminary papers, reports, work papers and drafts; which have been published (supply the published version).
  • Statistical data or questionnaires, if the results are recorded and preserved in a document or published report.

This list is intended as a general guide. If there are questions about records not listed here contact us at (530) 752‑1621 or speccoll@lib.ucdavis.edu.

Brief University History

The University of California, Davis campus, originally known as the University Farm, was established by an act of the State Legislature in 1905.

A committee appointed by the Regents purchased land near Davisville in 1906. The Regents officially took control of the property in September 1906 and constructed four buildings in 1907. By 1930, the campus had grown to 1,000 acres and by 1951, it had become 3,000 acres. In 2007, the campus has expanded to 5,300 acres, making it the largest UC campus in acreage.

Short courses were first offered in 1908 and a three year non-degree program set up in 1909. In 1911, the first class graduated from the University Farm. The three year non-degree program continued until 1923. At that time, a two year non-degree program began and continued until 1958. In 1922, a four year undergraduate program began with the first class graduating in 1926.

In 1959, the Regents declared that Davis was to be a general campus of the University and in 1962, the College of Engineering was established. Davis' own Graduate Division was established in 1961. The School of Veterinary Medicine was established in 1946 and received its first students in 1948. The Law School opened for classes in Fall 1966 and the School of Medicine began instruction in Fall 1968.

For further information, see the history of the University as described in Abundant Harvest: The History of the University of California, Davis, by Ann Scheuring. Davis: The Regents of the University of California, 2001 [Call number: LD781 D3 S34 2001] and The Centennial Record of the University of California, by Verne A. Stadtman. Berkeley: UC Printing Department, 1967 [LC call number LD758 C4 and online (http://content.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/hb4v19n9zb/)]

History of UC Davis leadership (http://chancellor.ucdavis.edu/about/leadership_history.html)