About the Archives

Mission Statement

The Harper College Archives exists to identify, preserve, and make available those materials of enduring value, which document the development, growth, and functioning of Harper College. This mission is carried out by:

  • Collecting, organizing, and preserving records of historical, legal, fiscal, and administrative value.
  • Promoting knowledge and understanding of the origins, aims, programs, and goals of the College.
  • Providing research materials for students, staff, and faculty.
  • Provide the public with historical documentation of the College.

Significant Collections

These are among the more notable collections within the Archives:

  • The entire run of Board of Trustee Meeting Minutes dating back to 1965.
  • Photographs and slides of the Harper Campus during and after its construction and subsequent renovations.
  • Policy Manuals.
  • Program Budgets and Financial Statements.
  • Minutes and papers of various on campus planning committees.
  • News clippings, correspondence, and other documents pertaining to the founding and establishment of the college.
  • Materials related to the life of William Rainey Harper including books, scrapbooks, duplicates of correspondence, and other artifacts.

Brief Introduction to Archival Operations at Harper College

Archives operate on different principles from libraries. Libraries have open stacks that can be searched by patrons, and each item has a call number that determines where the item is shelved. On the other hand, archival stacks are off limits to patrons, and materials in the archives are arranged hierarchically based on the office of creation. Records from one office are not intermixed with another, even if the records they produce discuss the same topics.

In order to view archival materials, patrons must request them from the archivist or any available staff, who will then retrieve the documents. Patrons are limited to viewing archival documents on the second floor of the library, near the reference desk to ensure the security of the collection from potential theft.

Patrons may request the use of archival materials either in person, or by phone.