Cornell University History

Hans Bethe
Hans Bethe and Boyce McDaniel bicycling
in the Wilson Synchrotron, 1968.

In December of 1942, in the midst of World War II, Professor Paul Gates of the Cornell University History Department received a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to establish a collection of regional history at Cornell. The collection was created to document everyday life in upstate New York, its families, farms, businesses, churches, schools, and organizations. In 1945, with the acquisition of the Ezra Cornell Papers, a university archives program was initiated. The original Archives holdings documented the founding of Cornell University and its establishment through the sale of western lands. In subsequent years, the papers of early presidents and trustees were added. Later, the collection acquired personal and professional papers of individual faculty members. The Cornell University Archives was officially established on July 1, 1951.

Currently, the Archives collects and preserves records of historical, legal, fiscal, and/or administrative value to Cornell University. Holdings include official records and reports of the university, its officers, and component parts; private papers of faculty, students, staff, and alumni; official and student publications; maps and architectural records; audiovisual materials including still photographs and negatives, motion picture film, oral history interviews, and audio and video tapes; and artifacts and ephemera documenting Cornell's history.

The Archives provides consulting on records retention and management issues and for transfer of materials, as well as providing archival supplies as necessary. Access to unpublished material may be restricted by the office in which the material originated, or by the donor of personal papers. Access to unrestricted material is provided on equal terms to all researchers.

The Division supplies information and reference services to university administrators based on its holdings by answering specific requests or by photocopying specific items. The Division will also provide all interested persons with information on the history, development, and growth of the university, and its policies, programs, and organization.

For questions concerning reproducing Cornell University building plans and drawings, please contact Planning, Design and Construction (PDC).

The Collection actively solicits materials for consideration and/or contribution. For information about contributing, please contact:

Elaine Engst
Director & University Archivist
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
2B Carl A. Kroch Library
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853

607-255-3530

Eileen Keating
University Records Manager
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
2B Carl A. Kroch Library
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853

607-255-3530

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