Origins of the University Archives
The idea for an archives at NC State University was first conceived in 1939 when the institution celebrated the 50th anniversary of its opening. During the following year, at the suggestions of Librarian Harlan Brown and History Professor David A. Lockmiller, Dean of Administration John W. Harrelson established an informal collection of historical materials.
Little was done with the collection, however, until 1953 when Harrelson began an effort to systematize the holdings. After his death in 1955, Ira O. Schaub, former Director of the Agricultural Extension Service, and Stuart M. Noblin, a member of the history faculty, also worked briefly with the collection.
By 1962 the institution had reached such size and complexity that an organized records management-archives program was needed. In accordance with the provisions in Chapters 121 and 132 of the General Statues of North Carolina, authorization was given by the North Carolina Department of Archives and History to the University for appropriate disposition of its records. Records with continuing administrative, legal, or historical value would be transferred to an archives on campus.
In order to facilitate implementation of an archives program at the University, the 1965 General Assembly authorized the creation of the office of University Archivist, located administratively in the Office of the Provost. In August 1965, Maurice S. Toler was appointed as the first University Archivist. The University Archives occupied three small rooms on the second floor of the D. H. Hill Library until 1971 when it moved to larger quarters on the ground floor of the library.
In 1990, the University Archives was placed administratively in the University Libraries. When the Special Collections Department was created in 1993, the University Archives became a division under it.