Skip to Main Content

Stanford University Archives: University Archives Collections

The Stanford University Archives is the official repository for records of Stanford University and serves as its institutional memory.

University Archives Collections

The Archives collects materials in the following categories: 

University records

The Archives holds hundreds of collections created by university offices, departments, and administrators. Notable collections include records of the Board of Trustees and Faculty Senate, as well as individual presidents, deans, and department heads.

University records document the history of Stanford's founding and evolution into one the leading research universities in the world. They encompass all facets of life on the Farm, from academics and administration to campus design, athletics, social life, and activism.

University policy restricts access to Board of Trustees records for 20 years from date of creation and records of the President and Provost's office for 20 years from end of tenure. Access to student and personnel records are restricted 75 years from date of creation.

Faculty and personal papers

The Archives holds hundreds of collections of faculty, staff, student, and alumni/ae papers.

These collections document the professional and personal lives of their creators.

Notable collections include:

Theses and dissertations

The Archives holds thousands of doctoral dissertations, undergraduate honors theses, and master's theses.

Master's theses and dissertations are cataloged in SearchWorks. Honors theses are listed by department in the Online Archive of California.

Stanford publications

Even before the University Archives was established in 1965, the Libraries collected publications of the University. These items now range from annual reports, newspapers, and newsletters, to blogs, web sites, and social media.

Many publications have been digitized and are available online. Notable collections include:

Photographs and other visual materials

The Archives has extensive holdings of photographs, prints, posters, maps, and architectural drawings.

Many photographs have been digitized and are available online. Stanford community members can also access high resolution files via Primary collections include:

Most maps and architectural drawings have been digitized and are available online, including drawings from the Planning Office and Land, Buildings, and Real Estate (LBRE), as well as the renowned Frank Lloyd Wright designed Hanna House

Many posters and prints are available online.

Audio and visual recordings

The Archives has extensive audio and video recordings of Stanford events, individuals, and programs.

Notable collections include:

The Archives also holds several oral history collections, including interviews conducted by the Stanford Historical Society.

Additional Stanford recordings are also held by the Archive of Recorded Sound.

Student and alumni/ae organization records

The Archives has several collections documenting students, student life, and student organizations.

Notable collections include:

Recent exhibitions include:

Stanford history

In addition to University records, publications, personal papers, and records of student organizations, the Archives maintains a variety of materials documenting Stanford people, places, events, and activities. These materials include biographical files on people associated with the University, subject files on campus buildings, athletics, and student life, and artifacts such as the Stanford objects collection. The Archives also maintains a non-circulating reference collection of books relating to Stanford history, which patrons may consult in the Special Collections and University Archives reading room.

Local history

Many items in the collections of the Archives document the history of Palo Alto, Silicon Valley, and the Bay Area.

University records, such as those of the Vice President for Business AffairsController's Office, and Stanford Properties Records document the University’s role in local communities as a property owner and employer. The records of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts includes documentary recordings of East Palo Alto and the Dreams of A City project. Personal archives, such as the papers of the Yamato Ichihashi, the Stanford Student Letters and Memoirs Collection, or the Snedden Family Papers document the daily lives of faculty, students, and their families, many of whom lived in the Bay Area.

Visual materials, such as mapsdrawings, and photographs document the local landscape and built environment through time.