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Rock Valley College Archives

A guide to items located in the Rock Valley College archives

Visiting the Archives

The Library maintains a college archive collection that reflects RVC 50+ years of history and includes newspapers and clippings, college publications, historic course catalogs and class schedules, recordings of interview, concerts, and other events, fine art, oral transcripts, and various organizational records, reports, and minutes.

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

Things to Consider

When using an archives there are some important things to consider:

  • How accessible is the archive?
  • Is the material available online?
  • Do they have an online catalog to search for records?
  • What is the mission of this archives?
  • What is their collection policy?
  • Does their mission or collection policy exclude information?
  • What is the motivation for creating the archives?
  • What information does it have that is not available elsewhere?
  • Using Archives: A Guide to Effective Research

    Archives exist both to preserve historic materials and to make them available for use. This guide addresses the second purpose by outlining the functions and procedures of archives, and is designed both for first-time archives users and scholars who have already conducted research in archives. The content covers how archives function, how to identify appropriate archives for your research, and how to access historical materials and research at an archives.

What is an Archive?

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

An archives 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.


Let's look at the differences between an archives and a library.

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