Preserve Your Research

Archives and Institutional Assets Program

  • Preserves university records of enduring historical and research value
  • Stewards UC Davis researcher assets, especially working papers, lab notebooks, correspondence, manuscripts, committee documents, blogs, visual materials, and media
  • Provides seamless integration of print and born digital/digitized assets to enhance discovery and illustrate impact
  • Consults with UC Davis constituents to identify and track their high-value assets, make informed decisions about their long-term management, and enhance their discovery and use

The Archives and Institutional Assets Program (AIAP), in essence, works with UC Davis faculty, staff, and researchers to curate and preserve their legacies, ensuring that their most important and influential works remain accessible over the long-term. The program works collaboratively with UC Davis constituents to steward, preserve, and make accessible assets created in the course of research, teaching, patient care, and community service. By leveraging library services, technologies, and campus wide partnerships, the AIAP emphasizes the impact that UC Davis researchers have on their students, their disciplines, and the wider community.

Information is only as valuable as people’s ability to find and use it. What are you as a UC Davis faculty member or researcher creating beyond your publications that demonstrates your impact and should be preserved as a part of your legacy? What do you have in your filing cabinets or on the hard drive of your laptop that might be better preserved and made accessible in our archival program? The AIAP can help with the answers to these questions. Please contact Kevin C. Miller, University Archivist, for more information.

The AIAP works across the library, including with Research Data Services on Data Management inquires, with DataLab on questions related to data science and visualization, as well as, the Scholarly Communications Program, and Special Collections, to provide UC Davis faculty, staff, and students with comprehensive support learning, teaching, researching, and publishing in the 21st century.

Prof Grosberg and another scientist examine specimin at the water's edgeThe Archives and Institutional Assets Program collects content created by UC Davis constituents in the course of research, teaching, patient care, and community/university/professional service. There is a special emphasis in the program on collecting materials related to works and initiatives through which you have had the greatest impact—whether on students, on patients, on your discipline or field of research, on the university, on the community, or on the world.

Traditionally referred to as “faculty papers,” the AIAP will work with faculty, researchers, and staff—including emeriti and retired academic staff—to identify content in any format that best fits the profile for transfer to the archives. Collectively, this material provides a rich resource of university history in addition to documenting and highlighting the careers of individuals.

Interested researchers will access your “papers” and assets through the Special Collections department of the University Library, where they are administered and made available as manuscript collections.

What do we collect?

All of the following types of content are potential candidates for transfer to the archive. We accept both digital (electronic) formats and physical (print or analog) formats. Content must be devoid of sensitive information that would prevent the item form being accessed on legal or ethical grounds. Correspondence, including both paper and electronic mail

  • Grant proposals and reports
  • Lab notebooks, field notes, and other research notes
  • Research datasets, transcripts, or related (see also Data Management Program)
  • Drafts of significant publications
  • Speeches and lectures
  • Significant items, such as visual aids or important slide sets, used in teaching
  • Course syllabi
  • Administrative records of department chairs
  • Records of committees for which the faculty member chaired or played a major role
  • Policy documents
  • Significant records of local, state, national, or international service or activity
  • Images (photographs, slides, negatives, digital files)
  • Moving image or audio recordings and other media (usually non-commercial)
  •  Websites or blogs that the faculty member administers
  • Other biographical materials, including scrapbooks

Materials generally NOT collected:

In general, AIAP does not collect the following:

  • Student records
  • Patient files
  • Reprints
  • Duplicative or redundant material
  • Artifacts, objects, plaques (with some exceptions)
  • Books, journals, and other published materials (please contact Collection Strategies regarding the donation of published materials to the Library:

As part of a project to collect data from 65 different California rivers or streams this summer, UC Davis students work in a water system near Willows, California. The data collected will help help build a web-based map showing the physical characteristics of representative samples or “reaches” of California rivers and how they provide benefits for riparian vegetation, fish and the aquatic environment.

As a graduate student, professional student, or post-doc, your research is a significant contribution to your field and an important part of the university’s history. The Archives and Institutional Assets Program is interested in your work. For example, the UC Davis Library keeps a print or digital copy of every UC Davis thesis and dissertation for purposes of preservation and on-site library access (while honoring any access restrictions imposed by the author). The AIAP is spearheading digitization efforts and policy discussions to increase the discovery and access to all UC Davis theses and dissertations throughout history and into the future.

The AIAP is also interested in students’ key research materials, supplemental materials, and supporting evidence. Students conducting original research are encouraged to contact Vessela Ensberg, lead of the Data Management Program, with questions regarding data management plans, data discoverability and access, and data preservation.

Viticulture professor William Cruess pouring from a wine barrel in about 1918Through coordination with the Library’s Special Collections department, AIAP is charged with collecting, preserving, administering, and providing access to the University Archives. Holdings include non-current University records of historic value and a variety of other materials, including photographs, publications, and audiovisual material. Both print (analog) and electronic (digital) records are accepted for transfer into the archives. The University Archives are non-circulating and may be used by faculty, students, and the public under regular Reading Room rules.

We welcome historical archives and records from the administrative offices, campus organizations, and student groups that document the university’s history, development, decision-making process, and campus culture. Please contact us to discuss the records that you wish to transfer to the University Archives.

Records commonly transferred to the University Archives include:

  • Communications. Letters, memos, notes, e-mail messages
  • Admin Records. Policy documents, reports, planning documents, committee/task force reports, minutes, legal documents, accreditation and self-study files, organizational charts, grant files, architectural records, maps, rosters, surveys
  • Office Files. Project files, subject files, biographical material
  • Fiscal Records. Budgets, financial statements, marketing reports
  • Publications. Announcements, brochures, directories, handbooks, histories, newsletters, posters, press releases, programs, serials
  • Media, etc. Sound and video recordings, photographs, scrapbooks, awards, university artifacts

Records that should NOT be transferred to the Archives include:

  • Personnel files, including tenure review files
  • Student records, e.g. grade sheets
  • Medical or health insurance records
  • Applications (job, scholarship, etc.)
  • Purchase orders, invoices, receipts, etc.
  • Blank forms/duplicate copies
  • Non-records or operational records with no enduring value (consult the University Archivist)
Kevin Miller
Head of Archives and Special Collections & University Archivist


Shields Library