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University Archives and Manuscripts

Information about how to conduct research in University Archives and Manuscripts.


The Brown University Archives are a rich and diverse resource for students, faculty, and other researchers from a variety of disciplines. The collections are particularly strong in the following areas:

History of Brown University

Student life

History of education

Women's studies

Genealogical information

American Civil War and World War I

Civil Rights movement


Collections Overview

Material in the University Archives can be found through the online finding aids or printed guides. These include registers of manuscript collections, office files, graphics, and audio-visual material. There are also guides to Archives subject files and sport and dramatic collections, as well as indexes to University publications.  Please contact us via the Question Form for assistance.

Corporation Records (restricted for 50 years)

President's Papers (restricted for 25 years)

Administrative Records

Faculty Papers

Alumni Papers

Student Records

Topic Files

Museum Objects

Biographical Files

Sound Recordings and Moving Images

University Publications

Broadsides and Posters

Photographs and Prints

Edward North Robinson Collection of Brown Athletics

Christine Dunlap Farnham Archives

University Publications

Brown Alumni Magazine, 1900-present (alumni magazine) (library catalog record)

Brown Daily Herald, 1891-present (student newspaper) (library catalog record)

Pembroke Record, 1922-1970 (Pembroke student newspaper)

Liber Brunensis, 1870-present (yearbook) (library catalog record)

  • Access to digitized copies of the Liber Brunensis (1870-2007) are available through the Brown Digital Repository.
  • John Hay Library Reading Room

Brun Mael, 1909-1970 (Pembroke/Women’s College yearbook) (library catalog record)

  • Access to digitized copies of the Brun Mael (1909-1969) are available through the Brown Digital Repository.
  • John Hay Library Reading Room

Class Album, 1952-2009 (also known as "facebook") (1-V A1)

  • John Hay Library Reading Room

Pembroke Freshman Directory, 1951-1974 (re-named "Blueprint" in 1965) (Classified, 1-ZP)

  • John Hay Library Reading Room

Academic Publications

Catalog, 1-G

The Annual Catalogue of Brown University contained the academic calendar, lists of Corporation Trustees and Fellow, administrators, faculty, students, course of instruction by year and department, and information about campus facilities.

Between 1800 and 1820 the Catalog was published as broadsides.  1820-1824 the Catalog was published as broadsides and volumes.  Beyond 1824 the Catalog was published in volumes only.


Bulletin, 1-P B812

The academic University Bulletin is the official document of record concerning academic programs and regulations. Each calendar year has a unique bulletin listing the course offerings.  The first Bulletin was published in 1904 (volume 1).

Published Sources

For the definitive reference work on the history, people, and places of Brown University, please use the Encyclopedia Brunoniana by Martha Mitchell available in print and online. The Archives contains many published histories of Brown University, including:

Reuben A. Guild, Early History of Brown University, Including the Life, Times, and Correspondence of President Manning (1897)

Walter C. Bronson, The History of Brown University, 1764 - 1914 (1914)

Anne T. Weeden, The Women's College in Brown University, Its Origin and Development (1912)

Grace Hawk, Pembroke College in Brown University; The First Seventy-Five Years (1966)

Jay Barry and Martha Mitchell, A Tale of Two Centuries: A Warm and Richly Pictorial History of Brown University, 1764-1985 (1985)

Jay Barry, Gentlemen Under the Elms (1982)

Polly Welts Kaufman, ed., The Search For Equity: Women at Brown University, 1891-1991 (1991)

Janet M. Phillips, Brown University: A Short History (2000)

Archives Classifications

What do all those strange codes mean?  The University Archives' classification scheme is based on a system devised by the first University Archivist Martha Mitchell:

1 Letter Category
1 A Charter
1 B Corporation
1 C President
1 D Finance
1 E History
1 F Historical Catalogues
1 G Annual Catalogues and Directories
1 H Handbooks and Curriculum
1 I Honors
1 J Commencement
1 K Miscellaneous Programs
1 L Faculty Groups
1 M Lectures
1 N Student Papers, Theses
1 O Athletics
1 P Publications and Periodicals
1 Q Societies
1 R Student Life
1 S Alumni
1 T Classes
1 U Alumni Writings
1 UF Faculty Research and Writings
1 V University Portraits
1 W Views
1 X Library
1 Y Registrar
1 Z Departments
1 ZP Pembroke