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Strategic Plan


To select, preserve, and make accessible an authentic record of the programs, people, and operations of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the central administration of the University of Illinois, and to provide archival management for records of external organizations and documents of individuals in support of the administrative, teaching, research, and service interests of the University of Illinois.

 Values and Operating Principles

The University Archives places primary emphasis on:

  1. fulfilling the mandate for University records as provided in Article VI, Section 4 of the General Rules Concerning University Organization and Procedure.
  2. facilitating campus and central administration compliance with the Illinois State Records Act.
  3. selecting only those records that best document the University, thereby enabling the orderly disposal or erasure of records and information not of enduring value.
  4.  ensuring the integrity of evidence through maintenance of the context and order of archival records and other documents entrusted to its care.
  5.  creating and maintaining electronic and hard-copy descriptive tools that provide intellectual and administrative control of records and collections.
  6.  providing a physical environment for records and collections that ensures their long-term viability and usefulness.
  7. responding to the needs of administrators, faculty, students, and external publics for historical evidence and information.

Program Areas

  1. University Records
  2. Faculty Papers
  3. Alumni Papers
  4. Specialized subject documentation:
  • concert bands and band music
  • legal education
  • librarianship
  • military history (World War II)
  • public service advertising
  • quality control
  • student life

Strategic Goals

Goal 1. Records and collections. Actively engage with campus and university offices to ensure compliance with the Illinois State Records Act (5ILCS/160) and the University General Rules (Article VI, Section 4) and thereby provide for the selection and accessioning of an authentic record of enduring value. Fulfill the needs of current users and anticipate the needs of future University Archives users by building on its distinguished archival and manuscript collection in a deliberative fashion in response to the interests of Illinois faculty and administrators.

Goal 2. Access. Provide broad and effective access for University of Illinois archives and manuscript collections to support study and scholarship by Illinois students and faculty as well as by international scholars whose work will profit from use of these unique resources.

Objective 2.1 Reduce the volume of unprocessed archives and manuscript collections by a combination of additional staff resources, revised processing procedures, streamlined workflow for electronic information systems, and use of regular guidelines for monitoring productivity.

Objective 2.2 Increase public accessibility of the Archives’ holdings, especially by coordinating staff schedules to have a designated reference person on call at all times.

Objective 2.3 Expand the use of electronic technology to disseminate descriptive information about collections widely, especially though the Internet, on-line bibliographic catalogs, and improved integrated in-house databases and collection finding aids.

Objective 2.4 Following the principles of archival appraisal make the finding aids for those collections meriting broad external access available through the Internet based on EAD and other postings.

Goal 3. Preservation. Ensure the physical protection and preservation of the important cultural research resources entrusted to University Archives through provision of environmentally sound storage facilities with adequate space for present and future collections, adequate budget for preservation supplies, sufficient funding for contract conservation, microfilming, and preservation photocopying services, and collaborative projects for digital technologies to protect original source materials while making them more broadly available.

Goal 4. Deliver Collections Content Directly to Users. Make the content of archives and manuscript collections readily available to a broad audience through use of digital technologies, especially by linking Encoded Archival Description (EAD) finding aids to selected images of documents; through coordinated programs with Illinois faculty to present materials in curriculum packets for undergraduate and graduate courses; and through collaborative copying projects with other institutions with subject or collecting interests related to the Archives holdings.

Goal 5. Improve the Base of Support. Expand the institutional and external base of support for the University Archives through formation of strong relations with the Library’s development and friends office and the University’s alumni and development units, and the creation of an active program for support of exhibits, visiting scholars, and regular lectures or conferences on topics related to the Archives’ holdings.

Goal 6. Improve Linkages to University Administration. Strengthen the Archives’ relations with University administration, faculty, and significant external support constituencies through building a records management program, and especially the accessioning of recent university records, planning for electronic records, and provision of prompt reference service to campus offices.


December 2001