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Researching ODU History

Donating Records

Offices and departments that have records of historical value, regardless of format (paper or electronic), should contact the University Archivist at (757) 683-5350 or to see if they are candidates for transfer to the University Archives. 

Historical Records Commonly Transferred to the University Archives

  • Reports, including annual reports and self-study reports
  • Correspondence, including email, reflecting substantive departmental activity (rather than routine tasks)
  • Documentation of reviews of the academic/administrative unit (i.e. SACS)
  • Handbooks and manuals
  • Meeting minutes, agendas, and background materials
  • Organizational charts (only final versions)
  • Official histories
  • Final copies of policies of a unit
  • Mission, goals, and objectives statements
  • Strategic Planning reports, committee minutes, publicity materials
  • Briefing papers and studies
  • Subject/topical/project files concerning unit activities and functions
  • Statistical documentation of departmental activities
  • Speeches and remarks
  • Historical files documenting policies, decisions, committee and task force reports, and questionnaires
  • Constitutions and by-laws, minutes and proceedings, lists of officers of University corporate bodies (i.e. Board of Visitors)
  • Audio-visual materials including photographs, digital images, films, and sound/video recordings
  • Select memorabilia (Mostly if dealt with an important event or occasion at ODU)

Records Generally Not Collected by the University Archives

  • Correspondence and administrative files documenting routine activities such as room scheduling, travel logistics, etc.
  • Routine financial documents such as vouchers, receipts, and canceled checks
  • Blank forms
  • Publications by other departments/units that were retained for reference purposes
  • Student records, including applications, letters of recommendation, and graded student work
  • Non-university material received by the unit but not generated by the unit

Office Moves

All offices and departments with a move in their future are encouraged to contact the University Archives for assistance with transferring records of historic value to the University Archives. For the destruction and storage of temporary records, please contact the University Records Manager for assistance. 

In addition to the official records of Old Dominion University, the University Archives also collects the personal papers and records of faculty, alumni, and faculty/staff organizations. If you would like to donate your papers to the University Archives, please contact the University Archivist at (757) 683-5350 or

Faculty Papers

  • Biographical Material
    • Resumes/Vitae
    • Bibliographies
    • Biographical Sketches
    • Chronologies
  • Correspondence/Subject Files
    • Official: Subject files and memos while working as a professor at ODU
    • Professional: Subject files and memos related to one's academic career including with colleagues, publishers, professional organizations, and students (non-course related)
    • Personal: Subject files and memos to and from friends, family, and business associates
  • Diaries, Notebooks, Scrapbooks
  • Select classroom material such as syllabi, lecture notes, course outlines, etc.
  • Research Files: material related to the area of research (data, notes, reports, etc.)
  • Department/Committee records
    • Agendas
    • Minutes
    • Reports
    • Correspondence/subject files
  • Manuscripts for articles, books, reviews, speeches, etc.
  • Audiovisual material such as recordings of lectures, interviews, discussions, etc.
  • Photographs
  • Select memorabilia
    • Mostly if dealt with an important event or occasion at ODU

Alumni Papers

  • Select notebooks, diaries, scrapbooks from your time at ODU
  • Audiovisual material (audio, video, photographs, etc.) of events, buildings and grounds, athletics, campus life, etc.
  • Student publications and organizational records 

Faculty/Staff and Student Organizations

  • Administrative Records (correspondence/subject files, meeting agendas/minutes, constitution/bylaws, etc.)
  • Publicity Materials (flyers, posters, photographs, audio and video recordings, etc.)
  • Select Memorabilia (t-shirts, buttons, etc.)