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.
Image: Cowell and Stevenson Colleges: aerial view of the construction, with the Student Housing Trailers (1966). Gordon R. Sinclair papers. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.
Many campus history materials have been digitized and are available online in the UCSC Library Digital Collections.
The 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's 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.
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:
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:
Records Documenting UCSC History, Campus Life, and Culture
Theses and Dissertations
For information on finding UCSC theses and dissertations, see our Electronic Theses and Dissertations guide.
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.
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 Act.
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, some faculty papers are owned by their authors.
UCSC administrative departments and academic units may transfer material to the Archives when the records are appropriate for permanent retention and when the records are deemed inactive as determined by the Records Disposition Schedule. A transfer form must be filled out by the Office of Record. Please contact the Campus Records Manager at (831) 459-3411 for advice or assistance in identifying non current files to transfer, and to obtain a copy of the transfer form.
Learn more at Transfer or Donate Collections to the University Archives.
Material documenting the history of Campus’s social and cultural life is of interest to the University Archives. Please contact the University Archivist regarding donating historically valuable material.
Once transferred to the Archives, the records are the responsibility of the University Archivist. If the published retention schedule of a record is “permanent,” the University Archivist does not have the option to dispose of the record and must ensure that it is retained permanently. If however, a record sent to the Archives does not have a permanent retention period, the University Archivist may dispose of it at any time, in any manner that is deemed appropriate to the particular record.
The land on which we gather is the unceded territory of the Awaswas-speaking Uypi Tribe. The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, comprised of the descendants of indigenous people taken to missions Santa Cruz and San Juan Bautista during Spanish colonization of the Central Coast, is today working hard to restore traditional stewardship practices on these lands and heal from historical trauma.
The land acknowledgement used at UC Santa Cruz was developed in partnership with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band Chairman and the Amah Mutsun Relearning Program at the UCSC Arboretum.