University Archives & Records Program

Go to University Archives or Records Program.


Research on University Archives collections can be conducted at the Special Collections Library located on the second floor of the Margaret I. King Library on the University's main campus. The King Library is situated in the northeastern portion of the central campus between Library Drive and Patterson Drive, adjacent to Maxwell Place (the University President's home), and near Rose Street. For a map of this campus area and more information, see The University of Kentucky Campus Guide---Margaret I. King Library.

Research questions should be directed to and other UARP questions, including records management inquiries, may be made by contacting UARP at UARP staff may also be contacted by mail, telephone, fax, or e-mail. Questions about University Records Management may be directed to the Records Manager and questions regarding the donation of historical materials should be directed to the University Archivist. For contact information, see General Information.

Most of the University Archives and Records Program's public records are open and accessible for examination and research in accordance with Kentucky open records legislation; but access to some materials: such as employment, student, and medical patient records, is restricted, pursuant to federal and state privacy laws and court case decisions and interpretations of open records and privacy legislation. Requests to examine closed records (Open Records requests) may be submitted to the University's Office of Legal Counsel, (859) 257-2936. Privately donated collections maintained by the University Archives and Records Program (e.g., personal papers of faculty, alumni, etc.), that do not fall within the jurisdiction of the above-mentioned state and federal statutory law, may arbitrarily, in whole or in part, be closed to the public by the donors of the materials.

Hardcover inventories of and indices to UARP collections may be made available to and consulted by patrons in the Breckinridge Research Room; finding aids to some collections may be examined on-line through the Kentucky Digital Library. Moreover, a number of on-line UARP and non-UARP informational resources relating to the history of the University are available for use by patrons. See UK History Information for details.

As a state agency, the University of Kentucky complies with state statutes regarding retention and access as stipulated by the Public Records Act and the Open Records Act.

The Public Records Act defines public records as "all books, papers, maps, photographs, cards, tapes, disks, diskettes, recordings and other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, which are prepared, owned, used, in the possession of or retained by a public agency" (KRS 171.410 [1]). Kentucky's Open Records Act (KRS 61.870-884) establishes a right of access to public records. Public records, whether they are stored electronically or on paper, must be open for inspection. However, certain public records, enumerated by statute, are exempted from inspection, except on court order.

By virtue of its mission, UARP supports the principle of access to information. UARP will provide access to all UK archival records, except those exempted from public inspection by the Open Records Act. As time and resources permit, collections are processed, with collection descriptions made available in the Breckinridge Research Room and through the Kentucky Digital Library.

Rights, Permissions, and Crediting

Full responsibility for obtaining the necessary publication and literary rights and copyright clearances for any publication resulting from use of University Archives materials rests with the user of the materials. The University Archives and Records Program must be credited in any publication or production for public consumption. The credit line should read as follows: [Accession Number]:[Item Number], [Collection Name], University of Kentucky Archives.

Duplication and Scanning

Facilities are available in-house for the reproduction of materials by photocopier, scanning, and digital printing. Patrons may, with the permission of the University Archives and Records Program, perform photocopier reproduction themselves. Scanning of images and the burning of scanned images onto cds will be done on request by Special Collections staff.

In all instances of duplication, a Photograph and Video Reproduction Form must be completed specifying the items to be copied with instructions for copying, and submitted to the Research Desk librarian or to University Archives staff. Orders must be paid for in advance and may be picked up in the Breckinridge Research Room or will be mailed to patrons.

New Requests System

(March 31, 2016) The UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center has initiated a new online requests system allowing all our faculty, students, patrons, and visiting researchers to submit requests for materials, schedule a visit, or place digital reproduction and oral history orders through a custom web-based interface.

Create an account to get started.  All researchers visiting after March 31st will need to complete registration in their new account.

UK community members can login using their LinkBlue IDs while visitors can create their own login username and password. For more information, visit our FAQ.

Our Mission

Special Collections Research Center is home to UK Libraries' collection of rare books, Kentuckiana, the University Archives, the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, the King Library Press, the Bert T. Combs Appalachian Collection, and the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center.

The mission of the Special Collections Research Center is to locate and preserve materials documenting the social, cultural, economic, and political history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Materials are acquired regardless of format and include both primary and secondary sources; Kentuckiana is collected comprehensively. Special Collections maintains the records management program for all records generated by the University and serves as its archival repository for permanent records. As part of the mission, the Special Collections Research Center advances and supports the research, teaching, and scholarship of the University and beyond by preserving and providing access to its holdings.

Associate Dean Deirdre A. Scaggs

Materials in Special Collections do not circulate.

Access to materials are provided through the Breckinridge Research Room.

Campus Mail Code: 0039

For Research or Collections-related Inquiries

Breckinridge Research Room
(859) 257-8611

Fax: (859) 257-6311


General Information

Mailing Address:
Special Collections Research Center
Margaret I. King Library
University of Kentucky Libraries
Lexington, KY 40506-0039

Delivery Address:
179 Funkhouser Drive
Margaret I. King Library
University of Kentucky Libraries
Lexington, KY 40506-0039

Emergency Vehicle Response Location:
179 Funkhouser