University Library

Special Collections & Archives

Collections Overview

Special Collections is the principal repository for the UCSC University Archives, preserving non-current records and historical information documenting the campus, its people, its administration and its culture.

Holdings include University publications such as campus directories and general catalogs, the schedule of classes, City on a Hill newspaper, long-range development plans, and gallery exhibit catalogs. 

UCSC Masters’ theses and Ph.D. dissertations are made available through Special Collections, as are the papers of some of its most important faculty members and administrators. Notable among these are the papers of Dean McHenry, the first UCSC Chancellor, the papers of scientist and biology professor Kenneth Thimann, the papers of molecular biology professor Harry Noller, the papers of classics and comparative literature professor Norman O. Brown, and the papers, films, and recordings of anthropologist and naturalist Gregory Bateson.

The importance of the campus as a historic and cultural center for the city of Santa Cruz is revealed in the founding papers of  Shakespeare Santa Cruz, the professional repertory company formerly in residence at UCSC. The Alan Chadwick Papers and UCSC Farm and Garden photographs document the work of Chadwick as a master gardener, and a leading innovator in the organic farming techniques now inspiring a worldwide movement.

The University Archives is built, one by one, from transfers of records from administrative offices and academic departments, as well as from donations by student groups, alumni and other individuals. Click here for information on the types of materials collected by the Archives and information on how to transfer or donate materials to the Archives.

Image: UC Santa Cruz grounds aerial photograph, oblique view, date unknown (ca. 1963). Maps and Aerial Photographs. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.

UCSC Campus History Digital Collections

Many campus history materials have been digitized and are available online in the UCSC Library Digital Collections.

UCSC Photographs and Maps: This collection includes photographs, maps, and architectural drawings documenting the historical development, culture and social environment of one of the UC system's most beautiful campuses, the University of California, Santa Cruz.

UCSC Publications: This collection includes publications from the early years of the University produced by UC Santa Cruz students, staff members and departments, as well as local press publications such as the Santa Cruz Sentinel that focus on the University.

Oral Histories: The Regional History Project has been documenting the history of the Central Coast of California and the institutional history of UC Santa Cruz since 1963, through oral history.

Image: University of California, Santa Cruz planning: UC Regents tour the site for UC Santa Cruz: Chancellor McHenry, with Gerald Hagar, president of the regents board; Elinor Heller, a regent; John Carl Warnecke, head of the campus architectural team; and Donald McLaughlin, a regent. Gordon R. Sinclair papers, 1957-1979. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.

Collection Scope

University Archives is the official repository for selected inactive campus records that have enduring administrative, legal, or research value. The records contained in University Archives document the history, policies, and procedures of the Campus and the decision making process of its administrators. The Archives include the following:

Administrative Records

Vital records as determined by the UC and UCSC Disposition Schedules as they are identified and deemed inactive by their Office or Record. Administrative Records include:

  • Chancellor’s Office (examples include records of operation, organizational charts, minutes of Regents’ meetings held at UCSC)
  • Facilities and Planning Offices (examples include Long Range Development Plans, campus environmental impact reports, Campus Academic Plans)
  • Academic Senate Office (examples include agendas and minutes, committee membership lists)
  • Office of Research (examples include reviews of UCSC entities)
  • Contracts, Grants, and Gift Offices (examples include documentation relating to foundation and trust donations)
  • Accreditation documentation
  • Founding and incorporation documents

Records Documenting UCSC History, Campus Life, and Culture

  • Campus funded publications, such as catalogs, directories, student newspapers, yearbooks, personnel manuals, faculty, student and staff handbooks.
  • Selected material documenting administration, activities, and events of the Colleges, Schools, Centers, Institutes, Organized Research Units, Libraries
  • Campus maps and guides
  • Photographs depicting UCSC activities, events, personnel

Theses and Dissertations

For information on finding UCSC theses and dissertations, see our Electronic Theses and Dissertations guide.

Faculty Papers

Faculty papers are resources of university history in addition to documenting the careers of individuals. The personal and professional papers of faculty affiliated with UCSC are selectively collected and primarily administered as manuscript collections within Special Collections. Please consult with the Head of Special Collections for more information

Accessing University Archives

In most cases University Archives are public documents. The material does not circulate but may be viewed within Special Collections during regular posted open hours.

In general, UCSC University Archives do not acquire records that have permanent restrictions on access; such records are usually retained by their Office of Record. We are in compliance with the California Public Records Act and the Information Practices Art.

University Archives Copyright

Copyright for UCSC administrative records and campus publications are held by the Regents of the University of California, and comply with policies stated in the “University of California Policy on Copyright Ownership.” Copyright for theses, dissertations and some faculty papers are owned by their authors.

University Archivist

In order to preserve records which document the University of California, a University Archivist at each campus has been designated as the official custodian of all University records at that campus adjudged worthy of archiving. The University Archivist serves as a records consultant for all campus offices.

University Archivist:
Teresa Mora
Phone: 831-459-4425

Campus administrative records and the UCSC Disposition Schedule are managed through the Office of the Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor. Contact Diane Lallemand, Principal Analyst, Records & Information Management at for more information.

UCSC adheres to the "policies for administration of University of California Archives" as prepared by the UC Archives Council.

Search our Digital Collections

UC Santa Cruz Library Digital Collections


Search our Digital Collections for photographs, maps, and more

Search University Archive Finding Aids

Collection finding aids include a detailed description of the collection and outline its contents

Transferring Materials to the University Archives

UCSC administrative departments and academic units may transfer material to the Archives when the records are appropriate for permanent retention. For information on the Transfer process please click here

Records of student organizations are also collected by the Archives. For information on donating records of your organization please click here.

Non-record material documenting the history of Campus’s social and cultural life (such as faculty papers and student memoirs) is also of interest to the University Archives. Please contact the University Archivist regarding donating historically valuable material.