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Rock Valley College Archives

A guide to items located in the Rock Valley College archives

The Rock Valley College Archives

The mission of the Rock Valley College Archives is to collect, describe, preserve, and make available records of the college and college community, as well as primary source materials with enduring historical value for the study, teaching, and research needs of RVC students, faculty, and staff.

Visits to the archives are by appointment only. If you are interested in using this collection please consult with the Archival Librarian, Lukas Wenner (815-921-4603) to make arrangements for the materials to be retrieved from storage. Archive materials may only be used in the library. Some publications of the college, including the student yearbooks from 1966-1970 and the literary magazine are digitized and available through the Internet Archive.

Why Archives Are Important

What is an Archive?

The word ‘archive’ is derived from the Greek word ‘archeia’, meaning ‘public records’.

An archive is a place where people can go to gather firsthand facts, data, and evidence from letters, reports, notes, memos, photographs, and other primary sources (from the National Archives).

Archives are different from libraries in several respects. Libraries can generally be defined as “collections of books and/or other print or nonprint materials organized and maintained for use.” Patrons of those libraries can access materials at the library, via the Internet, or by checking them out for home use. Libraries exist to make their collections available to the people they serve.

Archives also exist to make their collections available to people, but differ from libraries in both the types of materials they hold, and the way materials are accessed. Materials in an archives are often unique, specialized, or rare objects, meaning very few of them exist in the world, or they are the only ones of their kind. Because materials in archival collections are so often unique, the people (archivists) in charge of caring for those materials strive to preserve them for use today, and for future generations of researchers.

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