The University Archives comprise the largest portion of the library's holdings and documents the history and activities of the University of Cincinnati from its origins in the Cincinnati College, founded in 1819. The archives contain the official records of the university, including the records of the board of trustees, the presidents, individual colleges and academic departments, and other administrative offices and divisions.
The University Archives also contains the personal papers and publications of faculty and alumni, official publications of the university such as annual reports, studies, college catalogs, materials related to student life such as campus newspapers, yearbooks, and theses and dissertations. In addition to these materials, there are extensive photograph files of campus scenes and events, biographical files on persons associated with the university, and subject files on university activities, programs and buildings.
Some of the noteworthy subject areas of the University Archives are cooperative education, the Cincinnati Observatory, the College-Conservatory of Music, and industrial education.