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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Statistics in the University Archives: Searching the Archives

A finding aid for undergraduate students looking for statistics in the archives


  • The archives changes over time.   This may seem obvious, but it will save you frustration as you keep in mind that this means its organization changes over time as well.  Don't hesitate to ask for help!
  • Plan your search. Do you want to search by University department?  Do you have potential subject headings?  Are there names of individuals you can search?  Be sure you have a clear idea of how to approach your topic. Review "Searching the Archives".
  • Try preliminary searches.  Before you come to the archives, keep in mind that "Subjects" are not keywords and not the same as the subject headings used in the library.   You may need to be creative in your search.  Information on "alcohol use" on campus, for example, may be under "alcohol", "alcohol abuse", "drinking", or "liquor". 
  • Identify the location. If you search the archives database "Archon," and find record series that look promising, make note of the location of the files.  Which building are they in?  Do you need to plan a trip to the Archives Research Center?
  • Digital records.  Remember that the archives created digital "surrogates" for some print material.  If you are looking for something that you think exists in a digital format and are not finding it try searching the "Image/E-record Title" tab under "D" for "Digital Surrogate".  When materials are digitized by our archives, the title of those documents may begin with the words "Digital surrogate of..."
  • When all else fails - ask an archivist!!  We have excellent people who understand the archives' complexity and are willing to help.  Don't hesitate to ask for assistance if you have problems.

Searching Archon


Archivists create a great deal of digital content.  You can browse digital files at the archives. Make sure to select "University Archives."  One valuable digital file related to statistics is the record of student enrollment.  Individual files date from the first years of the University.  The complete set of records can be reviewed in the archives in RS# 25/3/810.

 The image below was edited to show the variety of information included in the files.  To see the full list of digitized enrollment statistics, visit the Archives' e-records.  These digitized files are only the beginning of the archives' statistical data. For instance, if you are interested in tracking ethnic diversity at the University, specific numbers do not exist until approximately 1967 and the data from 1967 forward has not been digitized.

This screenshot below shows a sample of available files.