The University Archives acquires, preserves and makes available three categories of materials: (1) the official records of the University, including those created by the Board of Governors, Senate, University committees, faculties, departments and administrative offices; (2) materials documenting the wider University community; and (3) historical research collections that promote the teaching and research activities of the University.
The Archives was established within the University Library in 1968 when librarian Liisa Fagerlund was appointed University Archivist on a half-time basis. She continued in this post until 1975 when she left the University. From 1975 to 1978, the Archives functioned within the Special Collections division of the Library. Archival duties were carried out by various library staff members. In 1978, the University Archives was established as a separate administrative unit outside of the Library. Donald Baird, recently retired as University Librarian, became University Archivist and held this position until his retirement in 1990. Jim Ross served as University Archivist from 1991 to 1993, and was succeeded by Ian Forsyth in 1994.
When the Archives was a function of the University Library, the University Archivist reported to the University Librarian. When the Archives was established as a separate administrative unit, the University Archivist reported directly to the University President. The reporting structure changed in 1986 when the University Archivist reported to the Vice-President, Research/Information Systems; in 1990, when the University Archivist reported to the Associate Vice-President, Academic; and in 1996, when the University Archivist reported to the Registrar/Dean of Students.