Back in June, we told you about our president’s papers and how those documents help us in telling Illinois State University’s story.  But did you know we also have collections for ISU’s colleges, departments, and schools?

Currently we have over 25 collections related to academic affairs, and as with all ISU Archives materials, these records are vital in documenting the university’s long education history.

Did you ever want to know how the Department of English got its start on campus?  Have you ever been curious to know when chemistry was first taught on campus?  Have you heard about the Geography Trippers and wanted to see their trip scrapbooks?  We can answer these questions, and also provide you with primary-source materials from these collections to use in research, or even campus exhibits.

These collections help us understand the University’s development in a number of ways, including how teaching methods changed through the years, how national education standards influenced our faculty in the classroom, and what disciplines were introduced into the curriculum to meet demand from the student body.  These collections are also helpful for the individual colleges, departments, and schools as well. They provide institutional history which can be used in a variety of ways, including course development, alumni outreach, and anniversary events.

Because we are so shorthanded, we heavily rely on the talents of our student interns and volunteers to process these collections and make them available to the public.  All of the records we currently have available in our Academic Affairs records group were sorted, inventoried, and preserved mostly by our students.

We still have a few colleges and several departments that have unprocessed materials that we hope to have available in the coming school terms.  In fact, we are always taking students interested in archival work!  If you work with a college, department, or school that has historic materials you’d like to see available here in the ISU Archives, give us a call at (309) 438-3546, or email us at