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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.