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Rayfield (University) Archives

Your guide to all things ISU history! Search this guide for helpful research ideas, links to our online publications and resources, scheduling a class, and much more!

Are you on campus?

The Rayfield Archives is the official repository for ISU history. We collect records and materials for the university as a whole as well as ISU colleges, departments, schools, and ISU affiliated organizations. While this is not a complete list, these are the kinds of physical and digital materials we accept:

  • Meeting minutes
  • Memos
  • Budget files and reports
  • Annual reports
  • Photographs
  • Correspondence
  • Materials printed for informational and/or marketing purposes
  • Memorabilia
  • Artifacts

Do you have records and you aren't sure where they should go?  Give the Records Management website a try first.  They have a handy How-To page that you can reference. If you think you have materials that should be preserved, contact the Rayfield Archives at archives@ilstu.edu or call (309) 438-3546. 

Are you an Alumni or simply have 'ISU stuff'?

We'd love to hear from you! We are always looking to expand our collections with ISU memorabilia, ephemera, and artifacts!  Email us at archives@ilstu.edu or give us a call at (309) 438-3546.

We are always on the lookout for all kinds of memorabilia, artifacts, documents, and ephemera. Those materials can include:

  • Posters
  • Jewelry
  • Pins, buttons, necklaces, class rings
  • Patches, "N' Club letters
  • T-shirts, jackets, uniforms
  • Cheer equipment (pom-poms, horns) and athletics gear (basketballs, footballs, bats, helmets, etc)
  • Ticket stubs, old university identification cards, booklets, leaflets, pamphlets
  • Scrapbooks
  • Materials created to showcase an RSO
  • Administrative materials for an RSO
  • Materials created for an on-campus demonstration

Are you a (retired) faculty member?

We collect faculty papers! Part of our mission is to collect and preserve the 'institutional memory' of ISU. That means, we also collect papers that highlight the research and teaching of our faculty. With faculty papers, we can show how different disciplines evolved and how the teaching of certain courses and subject fields have changed. While not a complete list, faculty papers can include:

  • Syllabi
  • Lecture notes
  • Teaching aids (overhead transparencies, slides, PowerPoint files)
  • Examples of quizzes and tests
  • Original works created for classroom use
  • Original research

If you have a collection you would like to consider donating to the Rayfield Archives, email April Anderson-Zorn or call (309) 438-3546 to discuss your donation and schedule an appointment.

After Your Donation

When materials are donated or transferred to the Rayfield Archives, we like to say the materials are 'coming home.' That means your donated materials will be cared for in a number of ways, be used by a variety of faculty, students, and researchers, and has a place among our collections. 

After materials are donated, they are assessed for immediate preservation concerns. If something in the donation needs attention, we consult with our Conservator and their staff. The donation is then placed in our secure, climate-controlled shelving area until they can be processed.

For archivists, 'processing' means the physical processing of arranging, describing, and making accessible materials using our professions accepted standards. Most paper materials are placed in acid-free folders and housed in acid-free boxes. Books are moved to our shelved books section and cataloged. Objects and memorabilia typically need different enclosures which we assess and order. Textiles like clothing, hats, or fabric objects also require unique housing and care which we provide.  In all, every part of the collection is housed and identified so that all materials can be accessible to our patrons.

We consider our student archivists one of our most valuable assets at the Rayfield Archives.  Without their excitement for history and their enthusiasm for our work, we could not have made as many collections we currently have available for use. The Rayfield Archives is both a repository and a lab for budding archivists where they can learn our profession hands-on with Archives staff guiding them through the process. Many of our interns and volunteers have gone on to be archivists, public historians, museum professionals, and librarians. Your donation not only helps to tell ISU's story but helps a student find their career path.

Ready to donate your collection of ISU history? Email us at archives@ilstu.edu or call us at (3090 438-3546 to discuss your donation!