About the NCTE Archives

Teachers discuss a text at the 1974 NCTE Convention in New Orleans
Teachers discuss a text at the 1974 NCTE Convention in New Orleans, circa 1974

The National Council of Teachers of English Archives documents the history of the National Council of Teachers of English and the teaching profession. Since 1911, NCTE has been an advocate for literacy education and curriculum standards, as well as a forum for educators to share successful classroom strategies. Further information can be found on NCTE's homepage.


In 1979, NCTE made its first deposit to the University Archives, which consisted of 20 record series, amounting to 27.5 cubic feet. Over the next 27 years, the Archives received an additional 12 series, amounting to a further 28.2 cubic feet. Meanwhile, a substantial body of inactive records grew in the offices and storage areas of NCTE headquarters.


In anticipation of the 2011 NCTE Centennial, NCTE's Task Force on Council History and 2011 began work in 2004 on examining the scope and extent of the inactive records and considering how best to bring the breadth of NCTE's documentary heritage under administrative, intellectual, and preservation control.


Following an extensive inventory of over 300 boxes by NCTE staff, the task force developed a plan to transfer those materials to the University Archives. In 2007, NCTE entered into an agreement with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to have its noncurrent records of long-term value processed and housed at the University Archives.


Today, the University Archives has over 130 cubic feet of NCTE materials. These records, dating from the organization's founding in 1911 to the present, document NCTE's history of advocacy for literacy, as well as its affiliates' history, including the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) and the Conference on English Education (CEE).


The NCTE Archives is open to public use. Please contact the University of Illinois Archives for additional assistance in searching and using the archives.


For more detailed information about the materials in the archives, please see the holdings page.  Information on searching can be found on the Using the Archives page, or you may contact the NCTE Archives for assistance.