Stony Brook University
Stony Brook University Stony Brook University University Libraries

University Archives
Documenting the History of Stony Brook University




Cheerleaders, 1965
Cheerleaders, 1965

NEW: Watch the film "Stony Brook's First Alumni: Reunion and Reflections"
From June 6 to June 8, 2014, a reunion weekend was held at Stony Brook University and at Planting Fields at Oyster Bay (first campus), in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Classes of 1961, 1962, 1963 and 1964, and reuniting the Founders Group, classes of 1961-1966. At Planting Fields, alumni were interviewed about their experiences and reflections of their time at the Oyster Bay campus and transitioning to the new campus in Stony Brook. Photographs from the University Archives are featured in the 16 minute film.

A full weekend of activities was planned and included: viewing an exhibition of archival materials in Special Collections and University Archives; campus tours; a visit to Oyster Bay; and inductions into the newly-established Brook Heritage Society, for alumni who had celebrated their classes' 50th anniversary year.  

Mission and Scope

The University Archives selectively acquire collections of historical value that document Stony Brook University, including primary and secondary source materials dating from the founding of the university through the present. Published reports, speeches, subject files, photographs, yearbooks, newspapers, items that document campus life, master theses and doctoral dissertations in hardcopy format (through May 2007) and the Stony Brook Authors and Editors Collection, are represented in the University Archives.

Special Note: Records Retention

Stony Brook University has a decentralized records management system. The University Archives do not have oversight of, or management of, department or unit records. Information about records management at Stony Brook University can be found here.

Access to certain university records may be restricted. A record is: "Any information kept, held, filed, produced or reproduced by, with or for an agency or the state legislature, in any physical form whatsoever including, but not limited to, reports, statements, examinations, memoranda, opinions, folders, files, books, manuals, pamphlets, forms, papers, designs, drawings, maps, photos, letters, microfilms, computer tapes or discs, rules, regulations or codes." (source: SUNY University-wide Policy and Procedures).

Resources on records management can be found at:

Freedom of Information Law requests (FOIL) are managed by the Office of Management Analysis and Audit

University History and Collections

The State University College on Long Island held its first classes on September 17, 1957, on the grounds of Planting Fields, the majestic 350-acre former estate of benefactor William Robertson Coe. Classes were held in Oyster Bay while a new campus was prepared in the quaint community of Stony Brook, on acres of woodlands donated by philanthropist Ward Melville. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on April 8, 1960. The Fall of 2007 marked the 50th anniversary of Stony Brook University.

University History

Administrative History and Facts

Photographs, Multimedia, and Social Media

Digital Collections

Access archived webpages and read the digitized versions of publications created by SBU's faculty, staff and students, including: Specula yearbooks; campus newspapers The Stony Brook StatesmanStony Brook Press and Blackworld; reports from administrative departments; material created by University governance; technical reports from College of Engineering and Applied Science; the Long Island Historical Journalhistoric documents from the University Archives; and more...

University History Projects


Browse finding aids, or guides, for collections, including: Artifacts, Textiles, and MemorabiliaSubject Files; and Theses and Dissertations (see also Digital Collections)


DSpace is an open source, institutional repository system created to publish and store digital and electronic scholarship created by an academic institution. DSpace at Stony Brook University is part of a cooperative initiative established by the State University of New York to provide access to electronic publications and research produced by its campuses. Originally designed at MIT, this software allows faculty and staff to disseminate and preserve original works in electronic format. DSpace at Stony Brook is administered by the University Libraries.

Access Stony Brook University Libraries' Digital Collections

Access the SUNY DSpace Repository

Mission Statement

DSpace at Stony Brook University is an active participant in the SUNY Cooperative Institutional Repository Program. It is the official archival repository for electronic files created by Stony Brook University. The University Libraries manages the implementation process which includes the acquisition, distribution, and preservation of digital content.

Current Initiatives

Stony Brook University Libraries has populated the SUNY DSpace database with digital content that supports research and teaching and with items that document the history of the university. Examples of material already added are:

  • administrative documents (reports from the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, and United University Professionals)
  • campus publications (issues of Long Island Historical Journal, The Brook, Stony Brook University Medical Center News)
  • records of university governance (University Senate, Arts and Sciences Senate)
  • theses and dissertations (2007 - present)
  • photographs of the university (1957 – present)
  • multimedia collections (videos of campus events and audio files of faculty/staff interviews)
  • archival collections
  • technical reports (produced by the College of Engineering)

Future Goals

The next phase of the University Libraries' DSpace initiative is to acquire scholarship and research in electronic form produced by the faculty and staff of Stony Brook University. Additional personnel and resources are necessary to embark on this important project. If these requirements are met, the Libraries will actively solicit digital content from the campus community including: unpublished and published manuscripts; research and data sets; technical reports; and multi-media presentations.

DSpace Organization

SUNY DSpace is hierarchically organized by "Communities." Each participating campus is a "community" and can include of an infinite number of "sub-communities" or "collections" depending upon the administrative needs of a campus. Additionally, each collection can contain an unlimited number of digital objects or files. SBU DSpace is divided into "Sub-Communities." Each sub-community represents specific units at Stony Brook University; they include official colleges, schools, centers, academic departments, and administrative departments.


Materials housed in the University Archives do not circulate, but researchers are welcome to consult the collections by scheduling an appointment. Published books, newspapers, and official reports are open to all researchers. Items can be located using STARS, the University Libraries' catalog. Materials housed in the University Archives are denoted with "Archives" as the location.

Access to certain university records may be restricted. Please contact the department for more information. Freedom of Information Law requests (FOIL) may be submitted directly to the Office of Management Analysis and Audit.


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