Troy University Archives

Troy University Archives and Special Collections

About Us

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Mission Statement

The Troy University Archives and Special Collections (TUASC) mission is to collect, preserve, and provide access to information and materials documenting and supporting the history and research interests of Troy University, its constituents, and its supporting community.


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Organizational Structure

TUASC is a component of Troy University Libraries and is under the administrative authority of the Dean of Libraries, Dr. Chris Shaffer. TUASC is managed by the University Archivist and the faculty librarians of the Troy University Library.


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Summary of Collection Holdings

TUASC maintains an extensive collection of documents, books, photographs, art, audio video materials, and historical artifacts that serve as permanent records supporting the rich and diverse history of Troy University since its founding as State Normal School Troy in 1887.

TUASC also serves a secondary role of maintaining a collection documenting the history of Troy, Alabama, and other local communities that have historically supported and contributed to the University's  development and growth. These materials include records related to local religious organizations, businesses, social clubs, and governmental organizations.


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Special Collections

Library materials in Troy University Special Collections possess unique value or importance and require special security measures and environmental controls to protect and preserve them for future generations.  These holdings are discoverable through the library's online catalog and database, and most items may be checked out for in-house (only) review.  In some instances, a facsimile or digital copy will be provided to researchers in order to preserve the integrity and longevity of rare or fragile materials.


Wade Hall Postcard Display


Troy University Archives acquire, preserve, and provide access to permanent records of historical, institutional, or research value, as defined by the TUASC Mission Statement.

In this respect, the University Archives differs from university records management entities that supervise and control temporary university records and adhere to legal schedules governing their retention and disposal.

The University Archives is not a library, and its methods and functions are significantly different from those of a library.  Some of the characteristics that distinguish an archive from a library are:

  1. Archives primarily manage unpublished materials. Libraries manage published materials only.

  2. Archives work with groups of materials called collections, fonds, or record groups. Libraries work with individual materials, such as books or periodicals.

  3. Researchers discover materials in archival collections by reviewing summary documents called "Finding Aids," which organize materials based upon contextual relationships. Researchers discover materials in libraries by using classification systems, such as the Dewey Decimal System.

  4. Archival holdings are typically named by archivists to reflect the donor or creator of the collection. Library materials, such as books, are already titled by the publication's author or editor.

The University Archives organizes its collections through the use of descriptive hierarchical categories that increase in granularity from the general title and summary heading to the  series, sub-series, and folder/item level. These levels are based upon temporal or functional perspectives and will vary in use based upon the complexity of the collection and the level of archival processing completed. Finding Aids, as previously described, are the principle tool used by archivists to record the organizational structure of a collection and provide researchers with an effective search tool to filter large quantities of information.


Wade Hall Postcard Collection

Recommended procedure for accessing archival materials:

  1. Review online collection descriptions to locate materials of interest.
  2. Review the TUASC Rules and Procedures.
  3. Submit a completed TUASC Registration Form and appointment request to the University Archivist well in advance of your research visit.
  4. Confirm a date and time for your research visit.

Walk-in requests will be serviced to the best of our ability, but advanced notice is preferred and appreciated by archival staff. Unprocessed collections require substantial time for retrieval, review, and preparation.


Image of Person Using a Computer

Accessing Digital Materials

Digital materials can be accessed more rapidly than tangible holdings. Many TUASC digital collections, such as the Palladium yearbook and the school's many bulletins and catalogs,  are available at the Troy University Digital Archives Website. Copyright law and privacy restrictions prevent the digitization and distribution of some archival materials.

The Troy University Digital Archives is a recent (October 2023) acquisition for Troy University Libraries, and as such, content will be limited as files are configured and uploaded. Please contact the University Archivist to request access to specific digital files or for more information pertaining to digital materials.


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Links for Additional Information

TUASC Digital Archives

TUASC Collection Policy

TUASC Rules and Procedures

TUASC Registration Form

TUASC Donor Gift Agreement

TUASC Records Transmittal Form

TUASC LibGuide

TUASC Records Destruction Guidelines


Troy Campus Library


The University Archives and Special Collections is located at 111 International Blvd., Wallace Hall, Troy, Alabama, 36082.

Online Collection Guides and Inventories


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