University Archives and Special Collections 

The University Archives and Special Collections (UASC) supports several institutional needs, from teaching, outreach and curriculum enrichment, to developing creative products supporting milestones, anniversaries and significant events in the life of the university and assisting departments, staff and administrators with reference requests about the history of SPSU and KSU.

The Archives also acquires records that provide evidence of the activities of individuals and groups in North and Northwest Georgia. These include personal or family papers, organization records, local publications, research collections, and audio-visual and digital recordings.

  • The mission of the University Archives and Special Collections (UASC) is to identify, collect, and make accessible records of enduring value to preserve institutional and community memory into the future. These activities further the mission of Kennesaw State University by contributing to research activities, scholarly development, and public service initiatives that enhance the quality of life in our local communities and the wider world.
  • The Department of Archives and Records Management at Kennesaw State University was established in 2004 by the Chief Information Officer to manage the disposition of inactive records and to serve as a repository for materials of enduring value to the university. The innovative structure of the new department reflected the interdependence between records management and archival functions.   

    Hired as the first University Archivist, Dr. Tamara Livingston developed the core collection of the Archives from records stored in the basement of the Campus Services building and the Library vault, as well as local history donations acquired by Dr. Tom Scott, Professor of History. With rapid growth in the volume of records accumulated and an increase in the demand for services, the department added several new positions. In 2010, the Bentley Rare Book Gallery was moved from the management of the Horace W. Sturgis Library to Archives and Records Management, creating the Department of Archives, Special Collections and Records Management. During that same year, Robert Williams, retired Director of the Library, joined the staff as Senior Rare Book Curator and Dr. Tom Scott, Emeritus Professor of History, became the Campus Historian.   

    In 2010 the Department of Archives, Rare Books and Records Management merged with the Museum of History and Holocaust Education (MHHE) to create the Department of Museums, Archives, and Rare Books (MARB). Under the leadership of Associate Vice President Dr. Catherine Lewis and Executive Director Dr. Tamara Livingston, the department includes the MHHE, the Bentley Rare Book Museum, the KSU Archives, the Records and Information Management program, and a Special Projects unit.

    The first library collection for the Southern Technical Institute was developed in 1959 by Dorothy Crosland, a librarian at Georgia Tech. She was enlisted to assist with setting up the new library, which was managed as a branch of the Georgia Tech Library until 1972. Archival and special collections at Southern Polytechnic State University were created organically as individual items and collections were donated or transferred to the library. It was not until 1991-1992 that archival materials were separated from the general library collection.   

    The Archives and Special Collections at Southern Polytechnic State University were expanded over the years by librarians who took on additional responsibilities to ensure that the records were preserved. SPSU's first full-time archivist, Elizabeth Keathley, was hired in 2005 to expand access to collections.   

    Prior to the consolidation, the Kennesaw State University Archives assumed operation of the SPSU Archives and Special Collections in August 2014, with the departure of the last Archivist/Librarian, Erin Grant. With the consolidation of the two universities in 2015, the Archives assumed full responsibility for Southern Polytechnic records and special collections.  

    In 2021, the name of the unit was officially changed to University Archives and Special Collections.

  • The UASC seeks to develop an inclusive record of the activities of Kennesaw State University and to document the work of individuals and organizations in northwest Georgia. It accomplishes this through internal collaborations with KSU administrators, faculty, staff, and students, and external partnerships with peer institutions and community members.   

    The staff of the UASC provides professional, efficient, and cooperative services that meet archival best practices. The UASC is committed to continuous improvement, community engagement, transparent practices, innovative solutions, and long-term planning. 

  • As part of its mission, the UASC is committed to reflect the diversity of the campus and wider community in its collections. To achieve this objective, UASC staff seeks to acquire records from individuals and groups that have been historically underrepresented or that typify the changing demographics of the university and the region.


Statement on Potentially Harmful Content

The University Archives and Special Collections identifies, collects, and makes accessible records of enduring value to preserve institutional and community memory into the future. Our collections include material from different cultures and time periods, and as a result, some of the materials presented here may reflect outdated, biased, offensive, and possibly violent views and opinions due to pervasive systemic intolerance. In addition, some cultural heritage institutions collect and preserve materials relating to violent or graphic events which are preserved for their historical significance. 

Some of the materials in our collections may be harmful or difficult to view. We provide access to these materials to preserve the historical record, but we do not endorse the attitudes, prejudices, or behaviors found within them. 

This statement was created by the staff of the KSUASC and was adapted from the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)’s Statement on Potentially Harmful Content. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The KSUASC includes materials documenting the history of Kennesaw State University, Southern Polytechnic State University, and Northwest Georgia. Records are contributed from University departments and offices, faculty, staff, and alumni; as well as individuals, families, and organizations from Cobb County and the surrounding counties of Northwest Georgia.
  • The KSUASC collects, preserves, and presents these materials as part of the historical record. We endeavor to balance the preservation of history with its sensitive display.  
  • We encourage our users to report harmful content that is not already labeled with a content warning by emailing Our staff will then review the material and create a content warning for future researchers.