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Researching ODU History

People and Organizations

In addition to the official records from offices and departments at Old Dominion, the University Archives also collects material that documents the history of faculty, staff, and students. This includes, but is not limited to, personal papers, organizational records, scrapbooks, photographs and audiovisual material, and artifacts.

Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to donate their material to the University Archives for the benefit of present and future researchers. If you have material to donate, please contact the Special Collections and University Archives staff at 757-683-5350 or


The largest part of the University Archives is made up of official records created in the day-to-day activities of the campus. These include, but are not limited to, correspondence and subject files of offices, meeting minutes and agendas of committees, reports, and financial information. Photographs, video and audio recordings, and artifacts documenting events on campus are also part of the University Archives.

There are significant gaps in the early records of Old Dominion when it was established as the Norfolk Division of the College of William & Mary in 1930. Most of theses early records can be found in the Norfolk Division of the College of William & Mary and Old Dominion College Records. The records from the Office of the President is the best source of information for the history of the university. Records from the tenure of Presidents James V. Koch, Roseann Runte, and James R. Broderick are not accessible to the public without the permission of the University Counsel. Permission forms to use those collections can be found in the Special Collections and University Archives department. While the University Archives contains a small amount of records from the Norfolk Division's first few director's, from 1946 on, most of the president's records have been preserved. 

Please search or browse the Special Collections Database for records from any current or past campus unit including: