Special Collections
UCLA Library Special Collections

About University Archives


The mission of the UCLA University Archives is to identify, collect, arrange, describe, preserve, and provide access to official university records in all formats, including electronic, that document the history of administrative offices and departments, academic departments and programs, related organizations, and activities of faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

In coordination with the UCLA records manager, the university archivist serves as a records consultant and identifies official university records held by administrative and academic offices, departments, and programs.

The University Archives promotes and maintains its designated obligations regarding official university records through partnerships with:

  • UCLA Office of the Chancellor
  • University of California (UC) Office of the President
  • UC university archivists on all ten campuses

Processed archival records administered by the University Archives are available to anyone.

However, priority service is provided to record requests originating from UCLA and UC-affiliated staff, faculty, students, and alumni.


The UCLA University Archives, established in 1949 by Provost Clarence A. Dykstra, is the official repository for non-current UCLA records having permanent historical, fiscal, legal, or administrative value. Clarence A. Dykstra, UCLA Provost, and first-grader Jeannie Morgan   Records in the University Archives date from the late nineteenth century, when UCLA's predecessor was founded. In 1881 the California state legislature authorized the establishment in Los Angeles of a normal school for the education of teachers, which was named the Los Angeles State Normal School shortly after its creation. In 1919 the school became the second campus of the University of California and was renamed the Southern Branch of the University of California. The name was changed in 1927 to the University of California at Los Angeles, and a comma replaced the word "at" in 1953. The campus has been located in the Westwood area since September 1929, having moved from its previous site on Vermont Avenue near downtown Los Angeles.


The University Archives contains approximately seven thousand linear feet of records, including:

  • Correspondence files of chancellors, deans, directors, and chairs
  • Minutes of meetings
  • Publications of administrative units and academic departments
  • Biographical files on persons affiliated with UCLA
  • Photographs, films, videotapes, and audiotapes of campus events;
  • Architectural drawings and records
  • Curricular materials

University Archives finding aids currently available online can be found through the Online Archive of California.  Contact the Ahmanson-Murphy Reading Room for more information on collections whose finding aids are not yet online.

Ready Reference Collection

A ready reference collection is available through onsite paging. It includes:

  • Biographical files arranged alphabetically by name (including curriculum vitae, photographs, biographical statements, and other materials)
  • Photograph files arranged alphabetically by subject
  • Subject files arranged alphabetically by subject
  • Departmental histories
  • Course catalogs (Note: catalogs dating from academic years 1882-1883 to 1918-1919 produced by the Los Angeles State Normal School)
  • Yearbooks (Note: The 1993-1994 yearbook is missing online but a copy is available in the library)
  • Commencement programs
  • Student directories
  • Daily Bruin

All other primary source materials, indicated by a record series number, are stored off-site and must be paged by the Ahmanson-Murphy Reading Room staff; users can then consult them in the reading room. Finding aids for the University Archives collections can be found on the Online Archive of California. When requesting material, provide the record series name and number and the box numbers. Materials should be requested 2-3 days in advance.

Contributing Materials and Consultation Services

For UCLA Administrative Offices and Departments, Academic Departments and Programs, and Related Organizations

The transfer of non-current files to the University Archives is coordinated with UCLA Records and Resource Management.    Information about University of California records retention schedules is available on the UCLA Retention and Disposition Schedules and Policies Web site.

What is a non-current file?
A file that has not been used in the past year or will not be used more than once per year.

How can non-current files that can be transferred to the University Archives be identified?
UCLA Records and Resource Management will provide advice; the office telephone number is 310.794.2600.

Can duplicates/extra copies of items within files be removed?

Should confidential or restricted files be shredded before transfer?
It depends. UCLA Records and Resource Management will provide more information; the office phone number is 310.794.2600.

How often can non-current files be transferred to the University Archives?
There should be at least two linear feet (about two storage boxes) of non-current files before the files are transferred. University Archives will provide boxes.

Should a list of the files in each box be included?
Yes. Emailing the list to the University Archives will also be helpful

What is the contact number when files are ready for transfer?
Call the University Archives office at 310.206.0568.

UCLA Faculty Papers

The University Archivist is available to consult with UCLA faculty on the disposition of their professional and research materials. For further information, contact the University Archivist by telephone at 310.206.0568.

Additional Services

The University Archives assists university personnel in storing and retrieving records of historical value. These services include:

  • On-site surveys of records to identify archival material and transferal of records to the University Archives as per the UCLA records management schedules
  • Storage of archival records in a secure and protected environment
  • Review and revision of the records management schedules
  • Compilation of inventories for records transferred to the Archives and distribution of copies to the originating office
  • Advice on the design and implementation of disaster plans