Guide to Researching the History of Trent University

Documenting Trent University is a critical part of the Archives' mandate. Research on the history of Trent University and its communities can be involve interacting with many of our sources.

Private Papers

The Archives' personal papers includes collections of records donated by Trent faculty, alumni, student organizations and other associated people and groups. Browse the Archives Database for material created by Trent faculty members and other material about Trent University

University Record Groups

These are official records transferred from administrators and staff in Trent University offices and departments. Records include things like meeting minutes, correspondence, agreements,project and event files, photographs, architectural plans, and much more. Note: Many of these records have restricted access. Browse University Records in the Archives Database.

Trent University Open Research Collection

This collection includes various University-related historical materials, including photographs, reports, student newspapers, university calendars, faculty papers, theses, architectural drawings, posters, drawings, works of art, publicity materials, annual reports, Senate minutes, etc.; many of these are housed in the Northway Reading Room.  


  • Trent publications including Alumnus, Trent Report, Focus Trent, and Fortnightly  
  • University calendars (many years are available in Digital Collections
  • Arthur, the student newspaper (many years are available in Digital Collections
  • Trent yearbooks 

Clippings Files

  • Trent University vertical files: contains clippings, copies of records, ephemera, etc. on various people, places, and events relating to Trent 
  • Press clippings collection: a large collection of news articles relating to the University dating from 1958 to 2005 
  • Magazine, journal and periodical articles about Trent University, 1963 to the present 

Images and Architectural Drawings

  • University photograph collection: 12,000+ photographs of the University, some of which are digitized and linked to from the list - plus hundreds of slides 
  • Works of art portraying the University site 
  • Architectural drawings and plans of University buildings 
  • Posters and broadsides of Trent University, its programs and events 
  • Trent in the 1960s: online exhibit featuring early photographs of Trent 

Other Material

  • Trent University major reports collection: A collection of reports pertaining to the University 
  • University-generated publicity material (ex: Trent viewbooks, departmental brochures) 
  • Course outlines and syllabi (some early courses may be missing) 
  • Convocation programs, 1968-current 
  • Convocation ceremonies on tape, 1968-2008 (a few years are missing); these tapes are available in their original formats and may need to be converted in order to be viewed or listened to 
  • Trent Nature Areas collection: Research related to the Trent Nature Areas 

Digital Collections

Digital Collections includes various born-digital and digitized material, including calendars, student newspapers, Trent Magazine, viewbooks, and other material.

Resource Material on Trent history 

The following material has been created by the Archives to assist researchers interested in the history of Trent's administration and buildings.

  • A compilation of the first 50 years of Trent's administrative history, which delineates positions and incumbents from 1964 to approximately 2014 as well as recipients of Trent honorary degrees and Trent award winners
  • a summary and explanation of building names
  • a chronology of events, derived from archival correspondence and committee minutes, surrounding the creation of the Trent Crest and the subsequent design of printed and graphic material
  • A transcription of Reginald R. Faryon's letter to the Peterborough Examiner, suggesting the creation of a post-secondary institution in Peterborough.


In Print

The following print theses and dissertations are held by the Archives, catalogued in Omni, and can be viewed in the Archives' Northway Reading Room.

  • Graduate theses and dissertations, up to 2019.
  • Undergraduate honours theses: Trent University Honours theses are available only in paper copy.


Graduate theses and dissertations (2013-present) are available online in Digital Collections.

More guidance on locating theses and dissertations 

Trent Collection (books)

The Trent Collection, held within Special Collections, includes books written by and about Trent faculty, alumni, and other community members. These books are catalogued in Omni.

External sites