Facility Feature: University Records Center

Hi everybody, Stefan here. As the Records Center Coordinator, I thought I would focus this week’s blog post on an infrequently mentioned topic: the University Records Center (URC). While most blog posts feature on aspects of the Archives such as a specific collection or upcoming event, there is much more going on behind the scenes. In the Learning Resources Center (LRC) where the Archives’ reading room is located, only a fraction of our total holdings are retained there. The rest of our materials are housed at the URC, which is a large climate controlled facility in the General Services Building.



A row in the URC.

Since the URC is climate controlled and secured, it serves as the primary depository for both permanent and non-permanent University records. In addition, the URC also provides storage for materials which require climate control for preservation purposes. Examples of some of these items include fragile photographs, glass negatives, and bound books, and various types of film. Additionally, since the NMU Archives is a local government depository, the URC also stores over 130 years worth of Marquette County court records, marriage certificates, coroner inquests, and various city and county tax ledgers. To see a complete list of our local government documents, and many other genealogical resources, click here.

The URC also provides special storage for the Moises Coit Tyler Collection, a portion of the Lydia Olson Library’s Special Collections. With roughly 3,000 volumes spanning several decades, the collection includes books on American history, philosophy, theology, and literature. To learn more about the Tyler Collection, please click here.


A look at the Tyler Collection.

In order to help us transfer materials between the URC and the Archives’ reading room, we use a large cargo van to allow for maximum cargo space. In addition to transferring materials across campus, I also oversee new record donations or transfers from offices on campus. When new University records arrive at the URC, I accession the materials into our internal database ArchivesSpace, label the boxes appropriately, and find available locations on one of our shelving units. I also pull and scan court cases for the County Clerk’s office, pull boxes or files and deliver them to individuals or offices on campus, and maintain the URC’s general cleanliness.


The van we use for transporting records.

We are also currently working on several projects in the URC to fix previous organizational and storage issues. Some of these long term projects include updating inventories, re-boxing permanent records into approved record center boxes, and updating box labels.


A stack of newly constructed (and empty) record center boxes.

That’s all for this week! To learn more about records management and the URC, please see our website here. We’re updating it every day with new material, so please keep checking back for more!

Post written by Stefan Nelson.


One thought on “Facility Feature: University Records Center

  1. Pingback: A Very Sad Farewell to our Records Analyst | The Northern Tradition

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