Archival Collections

Trent University Archives holds a large collection of primary-source documents—original, first-hand accounts created by people directly connected with certain places, topics, and events. Archival collections include letters, diaries, reports, meeting minutes, photographs, film, maps, architectural drawings, and much more. 

Our collection is especially useful for people interested in: 

  • The history of Trent University and its related communities 
  • The stories of people and organizations in the Trent Valley area, including Peterborough and nearby counties like Victoria, Haliburton, Hastings, Northumberland, and Durham
  • The environmental history of the region
  • The history of camps and camping in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada and abroad 
  • Indigenous Studies 
  • Canadian Studies 

Collection Overview

Our archival holdings include three types of collections, which are all described in the Archives Database.

Private Records & Historical Papers

The Archives holds more than 1,000 collections of private records and historical papers. These include the papers of local individuals, families, and organizations, documenting the Trent Valley area and the following counties: Peterborough, Victoria (City of Kawartha Lakes), Northumberland, Durham, Hastings, and Prince Edward. Also included are records that document Trent University, including materials donated by faculty, alumni, student organizations, and other Trent-affiliated bodies. These archival materials include letters, diaries, reports, photographs, newspapers, audio, film, video, maps, drawings, and much more. Our archival research guides explain how to search and browse the collection.

Trent University Open Research Collection

The Trent University Open Research Collection is open and accessible to everyone. It includes various University-related historical materials, including photographs, reports, student newspapers, university calendars, faculty papers, theses, architectural drawings, posters, works of art, publicity materials, annual reports, Senate minutes, etc.; many of these are housed in the Northway Reading Room. Read more about the content of the collection in our Guide to Researching the History of Trent University.

University Records (Record Groups)

The Archives maintains non-current administrative records of Trent University, which are transferred from departments to the Archives. These records are used to support university operations, provide evidence, and to research the history of Trent and life at the University. These records are arranged in Record Groups by name of department, program or administrative unit (e.g. the President, Lady Eaton College, Department of Communications, Academic Skills, Department of Anthropology, etc). The Archives also keeps the minutes of the Board of Governors, Senate, Academic Development Committee, Faculty Board and various other committees involved in university governance. Browse descriptions for all Record Groups in the Archives Database.

Note: Many of these records are restricted subject to review, under FIPPA (The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act) and may require permissions to access.

Collection Size

The Archives has more than 9480 linear metres of textual material, 42,000 photographs, 550 reels of microfilm, 1620 sheets of microfiche, 858 maps, 1049 audio and video tapes, plus newspapers, drawings and audio-visual records; in addition to hard copy materials, digital records are also being acquired. 

Engaging with our Collections