What is Archives and Special Collections?

Archives and Special Collections consists of University Archives and Special Collections. Archives and Special Collections collects, preserves, and provides access to primary and secondary sources that document the history of The University of Akron and the region. Materials are collected to support the research and scholarly activity of students, faculty, scholars, and the general public. Archives and Special Collections also oversees the University’s records management program.

What is University Archives?

University Archives are the non-current records of The University of Akron and its predecessor institutions that are preserved for their historical value. It collects, preserves, and provides access to the university’s historical records. For more information visit the University Archives page.

What is Special Collections?

Special Collections are collections of primary and secondary resources that require special care due to their nature such as age, uniqueness, rarity, format, or value. These materials are kept separate from the regular stock of the library. Special Collections also includes rare book and manuscript collections.

What is Special Collections in Archives and Special Collections?

Special Collections at The University of Akron include personal papers of individuals and families and records of local organizations and businesses. They also include the rare book collection and monographs that document regional history and special topics. For more information visit the Special Collections page.

Where is Archives and Special Collections located?

Archives and Special Collections is located in Room LL-10 on the Lower Level of the Polsky Building in downtown Akron, Ohio on The University of Akron campus at 225 S. Main Street (enter the building from High Street). For more information please see Planning a Visit.

How do I get to Archives and Special Collections?

If you are planning a visit and need directions, please see Directions and Parking.

Where do I park?

If you are planning a visit and need to know where to park, please see Directions and Parking.

When is the Archives and Special Collections open?

Archival Services is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


What are archives?

Archives are the non-current records of an organization or institution preserved for their historical value. They are also defined as the division within an organization that collects, preserves, and provides access to the organization’s records of historical value. Archives are additionally referred to as the building that houses the organization’s historical records.

What is a manuscript collection?

Manuscripts are unpublished documents (such as letters, diaries, photographs, architectural drawings, and organizational records) of individuals, families, or institutions.

What are Local Government Records?

Local government records are official public records created or received by a local county, city, town, district, or other governmental entity smaller than a state. Examples of local government records include birth, death, and marriage certificates; naturalization records; land deeds; wills; tax duplicates; burial records; court records; and council minutes.

What is a finding aid?

A finding aid provides detailed information about the collection. It is a document that places archival materials in context by consolidating information about the collection. Elements of a finding aid include acquisition and processing; provenance, including administrative history or biographical note; scope of the collection, including size, subjects, media; organization and arrangement; and an inventory of the series and the folders.

What does “cubic feet” mean?

Cubic feet is a standard measurement used by archives and manuscript repositories to convey collection size (the other is linear feet). For instance, a standard records storage box measures 16”L x 13”W x 10”H, which is approximately 1 cubic foot. If a collection consists of 50 cubic feet, it is approximately 50 boxes of material. This information gives researchers and staff an idea of the size of a collection.


What Local Government Records are housed at Archives and Special Collections?

As a member of the Ohio Network of American History Research Centers (ONAHRC) and as part of the State of Ohio’s Local Government Records Program (LGRP), Archival Services serves as a repository of local government records for a nine-county region in northeast Ohio including Summit, Ashland, Holmes, Coshocton, Portage, Richland, Stark, Tuscarawas, and Wayne counties. For a listing of records please visit the Local Government Records page.

How may I request a copy of my student transcript?

Archival Services does not house student transcripts. They are administered by the Office of the University Registrar. Please contact the University Registrar.

How do I locate information on faculty and staff salaries?

Faculty, contract professional, and staff salaries are public information. They are provided periodically throughout the year by the Office of Human Resources in a document titled Rates of Compensation. Current copies are maintained at the circulation desks in Bierce Library and the Wayne College Library. Current and older copies are available in Archival Services.


Can I photocopy or scan materials in Archives and Special Collections?

Archives and Special Collections staff makes photocopies or scans of materials for researchers for a fee. Please see the Fee Schedule for all current fee information. Please note: Some material may be too fragile for photocopying or scanning.

Is there a fee for using your collections?

There is no fee for using our collections. However, remote research requests may be charged a fee depending on the complexity of inquiry and the staff time spent researching it. Please see Research Services for more information.

How do I conduct remote research?

Archival Services staff can provide general information for remote researchers through telephone, e-mail, and postal mail. Generally, remote research is limited to 1 hour before a research fee is applied. Please see the Fee Schedule and contact Archival Services for further information.

How do I cite collections from Archives and Special Collections?

Please cite all materials used in publications, exhibitions, websites and other forms of communication as:

[Identification of Item], [Title of Collection], Archives and Special Collections, University Libraries, The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio.

Who can use the Archives?

Archives and Special Collections is open to the public. Students, faculty, staff, and members of the general public are welcome. See Research Services for more information.

Why are some materials restricted?

Some materials in Archives and Special Collections are restricted because of their sensitive nature or because they contain personal or confidential information. Restrictions are placed by the donor, depositor, or the repository. Some records are protected by federal laws such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Examples of restricted records are student records, personnel files, donor files, medical records, and any materials containing personal information such as addresses and social security numbers.

Access to some public records may be granted to certain individuals by submitting a public records request.

What is a public records request and how do I make one?

Access to some public records may require a public records request. Public records requests must be submitted in writing to the Records Compliance Officer in the Office of General Counsel either by letter or e-mail. Please see the Procedure for Complying with Public Records Requestsfor more details.

Do I need an appointment to visit the Archives?

Currently, an appointment is necessary, and is appreciated. Please contact Archives and Special Collections so the staff have the opportunity to understand your research and expedite service to you.


How do I make a monetary donation to Archives and Special Collections?

Monetary donations help fund the organization and preservation of historical materials. For example, monetary donations can be used to purchase acid-free folder and boxes or to have professional conservation work completed in a laboratory. Please see Donor Information for more details.

How do I donate archival materials to Archives and Special Collections?

Archives and Special Collections acquires most materials through donations. Please contact the Head of Archives and Special Collections to discuss the donation and to have the collection evaluated.