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University Archives

College IV student working on module

Using the University Archives Collections

Materials in University Archives are available for research and administrative use. Use the links below to browse descriptions of publications and records series or to explore collections of digitized materials. Visit Special Collections & University Archives in Seidman House or contact us to arrange an appointment to use the materials. 

GVSU Photographs

Historic GVSU Photographs Digital Collection

Historical images of the people, places, and events of Grand Valley State University from its founding in 1960 as a 4-year college in western Michigan. Additional photographs and negatives are stored in the University Archives in Seidman House.


University Publications Digital Collection     

Digitized versions of publications by and for Grand Valley. Including student newspapers, course catalogs, yearbooks, newsletters, and more.


Records Series

University Archives Finding Aids

Descriptions of  University records series, publications, and related manuscript collections documenting the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the University. The records exist in paper and other formats, such as photographs, negatives, slides, motion picture film and video, maps, prints, audio recordings, and electronic records. Records are available for research in Seidman House.

Lake Superior Hall. Students in beanies walking up the steps

Exploring Grand Valley's History

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

The Archives works with Special Collections to collect and preserve primary and secondary materials that support the research interests of the communities it serves.

50 Years of Grand Valley History     GVSU Historical Timeline      Laker Traditions

Architect's plan for the Lake Halls

What Is Archival?

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, 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)

Request a Transfer

Cook Carillon Tower under construction

Managing University Records

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

The University Archives provides consultation services to help University offices comply with state and federal laws relating to the preservation and destruction of records, both paper and electronic. Our staff can provide guidance in identifying records created by the University and establishing rules of retention and destruction which ensure the legal legitimacy of University record-keeping systems.

Please contact the University Archives with questions relating to the retention, storage, destruction, or transfer of University records.