Georgetown University Archives

The Archives serves as the institutional memory of Georgetown University. As such, it acquires, preserves and makes available records of enduring value that document University activities, functions, decisions, policies and programs.

Georgetown established its Archives in 1816, being one of the first American colleges to do so. Because of this longevity, the Archives has an unusually rich collection, housing material from before the University’s founding in 1789 to the present. More information on holdings can be found in the Guide to the University Archives.

The Archives aims to support research, aid teaching and promote understanding of Georgetown’s rich heritage. Use by all members of the University community is encouraged. External researchers are also welcome.

For those interested in researching aspects of the University’s history, our Guide to the University Archives is the best starting point. Also available are a selection of essays on University history and photographs from the Archives' extensive collection: Photograph Selections from the Archives. The University Archives can only be viewed in the Paul F. Betz Reading Room.

Archival records, like other Special Collections material, do not circulate. All published documents housed in the Archives are open for use. The following restrictions govern the use of unpublished documents:

  • Unpublished material dating from 1970 and earlier may be used with the permission of the Archivist or the creating office, unless otherwise restricted.
  • Unpublished material dating from 1971 and later may only be consulted with the permission of the office which created it.

Visitors to the Betz Reading Room must also follow these guidelines.

University staff can learn about the process and benefits of transferring records to the University Archives through this video.