Search University History

The Grand Valley State University Archives is the repository for official and supplemental historical records created by the University's administration, academic departments, faculty, students, and campus organizations. It exists to help meet the University's legal responsibility to preserve and make its records available in accordance with applicable state and federal laws and to assist the University community's effort to document its actions and decisions. The University Archives collects paper and digital records, photographs and negatives, audio, video, and digital media that document and support the university's mission to contribute to the enrichment of society through excellent teaching, active scholarship, and public service.

University Archives materials can be found in our physical collections in Seidman House as well as online. Keep in mind that some digital collections, like our University Photographs, are selections from the physical collection and should not be considered comprehensive.

For more help searching archival materials, use our research guide.

Managing University Records

Architectural Plan of the Great Lakes Plaza

Records that support decision-making, demonstrate compliance, document the history and culture of the University, and enable us to do our jobs are some of the University’s most valuable assets. Proper management of University records maximizes their value and minimizes their cost. Good records management practices enable your office to:

  • Control costs associated with records and information management
  • Improve efficiency and access to information
  • Meet compliance obligations
  • Minimize the legal risks posed by inadequate records management practices
  • Ensure that permanent and historical records are captured and maintained

Transfer Records

Please complete a Records Transfer Form and include it with any records or files you send to the University Archives. 

Records Transfer Form

The University Archives is an active partner in university records management, providing consultation services to help University offices identify permanent records and plan for the scheduling, disposition, and transfer of records to the archives. Contact Annie Benefiel, University Archivist and Digital Collections Librarian at (616) 331-8727 or [email protected] to schedule a consultation appointment.

What Should I Keep?

The following types of records are commonly created and held by offices and departments across the University. They should be considered for transfer to the University Archives when no longer in active use.

  • Official agendas, minutes, and supplemental materials of boards, committees, departments, senate, councils, and task forces
  • Reports, including summary or annual reports, research reports, statistical reports, and special reports, published or unpublished
  • Publications of university offices and departments, including directories, catalogs, handbooks, schedules, newsletters, journals, brochures, calendars, posters, etc.
  • Official correspondence of continuing legal, administrative, or historical value pertaining to the policies, procedures, or functions of the university
  • Articles, written histories, speeches, summary lists, and presentations relating to the history, policies, procedures, or functions of the university
  • Photographs or digital images of university locations, people, and events
  • Audio-visual recordings (sound or moving images) documenting historically significant university activities
  • Artifacts (reviewed and approved by the University Archives)
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Still have questions? Request an appointment with our University Archivist. We are happy to consult with you about transferring and managing your records.

Please include in your request:

  • Office or department name
  • General description of records for review
  • Several dates and times that work best

Page last modified September 10, 2021