Types of Material in Our Collections
The collections in the Drexel University Archives consist mostly of paper
records and photographic prints. We also have videocassettes, photographic
negatives and slides, audio and audiovisual material on reels, phonograph
records, born-digital material, and a few artifacts.
The photographic prints document events and topics such as Commencement and
the laying of cornerstones for new buildings, academic activities, the Drexel
family, athletic teams, and student life.
Paper records include:
Correspondence, including the official correspondence of Drexel presidents
Meeting minutes, including the Board of Trustees, and committees and groups
representing many aspects of the Drexel community
Publications such as yearbooks, student newspapers, literary magazines, and
- Annual reports from colleges and departments
- Course catalogs
Documents created by the administration for planning the development and
expansion of Drexel
- Event posters and fliers
- Blueprints and maps
Scrapbooks and photo albums from student groups and individual students
- Student record books from Drexel’s earliest years
- Course materials such as syllabi and lecture note
Our born-digital collections contain documents and media created using
computer programs (as opposed to digitized materials, which exist in both an
original, analog version and as a digital facsimile).
Born-digital materials include:
- Meeting minute
Websites created by University offices, departments, and student groups >
- Oral history interview
- Administrative report
Recordings of student fashion shows, concerts, and dance performances >
- Research dat
- Software created by Drexel community members
The University Archives has a modest collection of rare books, including
approximately 250 volumes printed before the nineteenth century. Almost all of
these works were printed in Europe or North America, and many of them are in
European languages other than English, primarily Latin, Italian, and
Highlights of the collection include 10 incunabula (books printed before 1501)
and a near-complete set of the Description de l'Égypte (Description of
Egypt), a series of volumes published 1809-1822 based on work by scholars who
accompanied Napoleon’s 1798 invasion of Egypt.
A list of rare books in the
Libraries’ online catalog is available online.
Theses and Dissertations
The University Archives is mandated under
Drexel’s Records Management Policy to preserve a copy of every graduate thesis and dissertation submitted by a
Drexel student. Our holdings include theses from the 1930s to the present.
Older theses were submitted in print form, while recent theses are submitted
in electronic (PDF) format and stored in iDEA, the University’s digital
repository. University Archives also holds graduate or “capstone”
projects by students in several programs.
For information about submission guidelines and procedures, visit
Drexel University Libraries’ Theses, Dissertations and Projects
Books by Drexel Authors
The University Archives holds books by Drexel-affiliated authors from the late
nineteenth century to the present, and we continue to add to this collection.
Traditionally, we have focused on works by faculty members, but we also
collect books by Drexel staff members, students, and alumni/ae. Because the
University Archives does not have any budget for purchasing collection
materials, we generally rely on donations, and we encourage Drexel authors to
donate a copy of each book they publish. For details, please contact
Archival Materials Online
There are several types of archival materials available online. Some of our
historical collections are digitized and available in our digital repository, iDEA. iDEA also includes
guides to our collections,
theses and dissertations by Drexel graduates,
and more than 2,000 Polish political and cultural posters from the 20th
century. You can also
access our website archives online.
Many issues of Drexel’s student newspaper, The Triangle, are
accessible through their own database.
For more information about accessing our online materials, visit the
Explore our Online Collections page.