2016 Warehouse Road
Normal, Illinois 61790
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The Dr. Jo Ann Rayfield Archives at Illinois State University is the official repository for selected materials that document the history of the university and all aspects of university life. The University Archives collects, preserves and makes accessible these materials to support Milner Library and the ISU community's research and teaching goals.
Collected materials include official records from governing boards, campus offices, faculty and student governance bodies, committees, colleges, departments and faculty and student organizations. In addition, the University Archives collects the professional and personal papers of faculty, administrative staff and alumni. The University Archives also collects materials on Illinois educational organizations pertaining to the university and local manuscripts or archival materials of individuals, clubs or business relating to the university.
In 2011, the University Archives began collecting materials related to the teaching method known as Herbartianism. Originated in 1830's Germany by Johann Friedrich Herbart, this education method was introduced to the United States at Illinois State Normal University in the 1880's by Charles DeGarmo. Collected materials include records of organizations and groups dedicated to the awareness and education of the Herbartian teaching method as well as the personal papers of the individuals who taught, administered or were educated in the Herbartian method. The University Archives also collects monographs, ephemera, memorabilia and other materials related to the teaching, administering and education of the Herbartian method.
The University Archives was recognized in 1970 as the official repository of University records that have enduring value. In 2010, it was renamed to honor former Archivist, Dr. Jo Ann Rayfield, for her years of service to Illinois State University.
The University Archives is open to the public. Because of the fragile nature of the materials, the stacks are closed for browsing but can be requested for viewing by Archives staff.
Can't come to us? Try our Online Resources page. Researchers can find databases, full texts, and sites with research assistance.
Yearbooks are one of the most requested items by patrons here in the Archives. Many of these patrons are alumni or family members doing genealogical research. In order to better serve our patrons, especially those who are not local, we've digitized all of the yearbooks and made them freely accessible online. Click here to search through a complete listing of our digitized yearbooks.
Duplication of materials are handled by Archives staff on a case-by-case basis and can sometimes be processed by the Milner Digitization Center.
Because of limited staffing, the University Archives is open by appointment only. Please call or email to schedule a visit.
These online exhibits feature images and information about the history of the university.
IRAD @ ISU is a branch of the Illinois Regional Archives Depository that shares office and archival storage space with the ISU University Archives. The Illinois State Archives in Springfield administers seven repositories in the IRAD system which house and provide research services for historical records transferred by local governments. The IRAD @ ISU branch holds government documents from 14 surrounding counties.