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With Voices True: Oral History Toolkit

University Archives


The University Archives collects, organizes, preserves and provides access to primary source material that documents the history and the culture of the university. Collections housed in the University Archives are used by members of the general public, Notre Dame students and faculty, and scholars for the purpose of teaching and research as well as exploring the many facets of university history. Through the physical and intellectual stewardship of these collections, the University Archives enriches instructional, research, and administrative programs that support the University’s tradition of excellence in higher learning and advanced research.

Archival Collections

Collecting Scope of the University Archives:

The University of Notre Dame Archives collects the official records, personal papers, and manuscript collections, in a wide variety of formats, that document the history of the University of Notre Dame and the American Catholic experience. 


The Archives collects historically significance materials in a wide array of formats including:

  • Personal papers and manuscripts
  • Organizational records
  • Photographs 
  • Graphic materials
  • Audiovisual materials and film
  • Oral Histories
  • Architecture drawings, plans, and blueprints
  • Artifacts
  • Born-digital materials

What are some of the characteristics that define archival collections: 

  • Historical significance - The significance of any archival materials for understanding the past. Archivists evaluate the significance of archival material based on a number of factors including how the experiences of a person, or a community or an event have impacted or resulted in great change over a period time.
  • Enduring value - The continuing usefulness of records based on the historical information they contain. Enduring value justifies the ongoing preservation of an item as a permanent part of an archives.
  • "Institutional memory" - The information held in personal recollections and experiences that provides an understanding of the history and culture of an organization, institution or community.
  • Representative record - Archives collect and provide access to collections that represent the experiences of diverse communities which often encompass intersecting identities including race, gender, sexual orientation, religion and economic status. One way that archives strive to preserve a representative record is to encourage individuals and communities to tell their own histories through oral interviews. Oral histories can accentuate or "give voice" to experiences that are not represented in paper records of traditional archives.  

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Depositing your Interview in the University Archives

Interviews selected as part of the With Voices True Collection will be deposited in the University Archives as part of the permanent historical collection.

  • Interviews are "open" and made available to the general public for research and educational purposes.
  • Interviews are not anonymous. Interviewers and interviewees are identified by name.    
  • Interviews may be used to support research, educational programs, and teaching initiatives.
  • Interviews will be discoverable via Google and other discovery platforms. 
  • Interviews are part of the University Archives' permanent collection.
  • Interviews are part of an ongoing collection.