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Archival Collections

This guide provides descriptions of some of Webster University's archival collections

Collection Scope

What Webster University Archives primarily collects

  • Official documents or records of lasting importance produced by the University, for example:
    • correspondence
    • minutes
    • publications
    • reports
    • yearbooks
    • newspapers
    • photographs
    • media materials
  • Selected secondary sources, for example, periodical articles about the University
  • Selected papers of current and former students, faculty, staff, and administrators which are of particular significance to the University's history
  • Information on the Sisters of Loretto that relates to the order's founding and operation of the University. The Loretto Community Archives and Heritage Center in Nerinx, Kentucky, has additional materials about the Order and its involvement in the history of the institution.
  • Information on certain local organizations (for example, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, The College School) that relates to the period when the organization was directly affiliated with Webster
  • Selected artifacts which are especially illustrative of the University's history or traditions

What the Archives typically does not collect

Statement on Offensive Materials in the Archives

For archival purposes, Webster University preserves historical photos, documents, yearbooks and student newspapers. Scholars can access these materials to research past events at the institution and explore the context surrounding those events. Some of these materials include content which may be highly offensive by today's standards. The photos and language in the materials published decades ago are reflective of the values and standards deemed acceptable at that time. Today, many of us will find this content offensive and unacceptable.

Some of the content in historical photos, documents, yearbooks, and student newspapers is abhorrent and appalling, and we openly reject biased and racist views. We also acknowledge that it is part of our history, which is why we are preserving these offensive photos, documents and publications and letting them remain in their original forms. As an academic institution committed to critical analysis, we must honestly recognize these troubling views. To deny this history would be dishonest. We must shed light on past injustices and errors, analyze all the evidence, acknowledge how far we have evolved, and identify how much more needs to be accomplished in order to attain true equity and inclusion for our community.