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University Archives

The CWRU Archives maintains the corporate memory of Case Western Reserve University by preserving and using University records and publications of continuing value. Materials in the Archives document the significant aspects of the University's development and serve as a convenient source of reliable information about University programs, people, policies, and property.

Kelvin Smith Library is seeking to document the personal experiences of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. We invite you, the campus community, to Tell Your Story and contribute them to the University Archives for preservation and a place in the university's historical record.

Anyone can use the CWRU Archives. Some material may be restricted in accordance with the Access Policy.

View our new exhibit, Celebrating the Campus Suffragists.

Those of us who work with the university’s archives every day know what a rich source of information they are. We also know that many people who need information about the people, programs, places, and activities that make up Case Western Reserve University don’t have the time to conduct their own research in the Archives. We have researched some topics of recurring interest. See the About the University page.

We focus on factual information, not interpretation. We try to cover a topic broadly and completely, but we know there are gaps and discrepancies. We do not claim a monopoly on The Truth.

The only sources we use are university records and publications in the CWRU Archives. Our goal is to make that information more accessible, not to write definitive histories. We select the most relevant and reliable sources, try to reconcile discrepancies, and cite the sources, so you can judge whether to rely on the information they contain.

The University depends on information to develop programs and services, make critical strategic decisions, protect property rights, manage projects, serve students, and generate revenue. That information is contained in University records. Records can only be fully utilized as an asset if they are properly managed to enhance access to information and to reduce costs and risks. The University Archives helps busy staff manage University records by providing guidance on organizing, storing and disposing of records. If you have particular recordkeeping issues you would like us to address, let us know.

See our About Records webpage.

Since November 2015 the CWRU Archives, in partnership with Archive-It, has been capturing Case Western Reserve University’s public website.

We attempt to capture websites created by Case Western Reserve University’s:

  • schools and divisions
  • academic and administrative departments
  • centers and institutes
  • representative and governing bodies
  • recognized student groups
  • alumni associations and affinity groups

See our portal page.

We are digitizing our most heavily used series and making those digital copies available in Digital Case. Our current Digital Case collections are:

Photographs, maps, posters

The collection is a pictorial record of the people, places, and events of Case Western Reserve University, Case Institute of Technology, and Western Reserve University. Most images were scanned by the CWRU Archives from original archival photographs, drawings, and documents. The digital collection, while growing, represents a tiny fraction of the image collection.


Student Yearbooks

Yearbooks represent a student perspective on the events and personalities of the academic year. Yearbooks include information about and images of individual students, student clubs and organizations, athletics, performance, the campus, faculty, administrators, and major events. All of CWRU’s nineteen current and historic schools and colleges are represented.  Digitizing the yearbooks is a current project, so new volumes are periodically added to the collection.

Commencement

The collection contains images, invitations, convocation and concert programs of Western Reserve, Case Institute of Technology, and Case Western Reserve University commencement events from 1836 to 2016. In this collection, you can find faculty and student award and prize winners, honorary degree recipients, titles of theses and dissertations, and more.

COVID-19: Tell Your Story

This collection consists of images, social media posts, textual documents, videos, and other items documenting the personal experiences of Case Western Reserve University alumni, faculty, staff, students, and other campus members during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. This is an open collection that is regularly accepting new submissions. After submissions are processed they will become part of the university’s historical record and preserved permanently in the University Archives. Visit the web page to participate.