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Dominican University of California Archives

The history of Dominican University of California

Welcome to the Dominican University of California Archives!

Our Archiving Purpose

The Dominican University of California Archives exists to identify, preserve, and make accessible historically significant records in a variety of formats that reflect the unique culture of the University and support administration, teaching, research, and community service.

Its scope includes records created or received by the University, its students, faculty, staff, alumni, administration, and greater community.

Archives, or Archival Repositories, can hold both published and unpublished materials in any format. These materials are often unique, specialized, rare, or one of a kind records and objects (non-circulating).

Dominican University of California Archives collects records related to the history and culture of the university that have long-term, indefinite administrative, legal, fiscal or historical value. We collect records of faculty, staff, administrators, students, and alumni as well as records produced by university departments

 These records include:

  • Records of campus offices, including academic, administrative, and library offices
  • Professional and personal papers of the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael affiliated with University activities
  • Professional and personal papers of select Dominican University Faculty that document the history and operation of the University
  • Manuscripts and donated records of Dominican University Alumni
  • Meeting Notes of the Board of Trustees
  • Publications produced on campus, both monographic and serial, such as newspapers, yearbooks, directories, reports, and newsletters
  • Photographs, negatives, slides, films, and video
  • Maps, drawings, blueprints and other architectural drawings, prints, and posters
  • Ephemera and artifacts where appropriate

Access & Use

Materials in the Archives are available to Dominican University faculty, staff, students as well as to alumni and public researchers. Archives and Special Collections materials do not circulate and are to be used only in the designated research area. To access the collection, please contact the Archivist.

Access to the Archives is by appointment only.

Please contact the Archivist to set up an appointment

Research Area Rules

  • No food, drink, or gum is allowed while using archival material.
  • Leave coats, purses, book bags, backpacks, and other personal items with research area staff. 
  • Use pencils only for note taking. Laptops are permitted.
  • Cameras without flash are allowed for personal research purposes, excluding any restricted materials.
  • Maintain the original order and arrangement of materials.
  • Marking, folding, or removing any archival material is not allowed.
  • Cotton gloves (provided) are required when handling photographs.
  • All photocopies and scans must be completed by staff.
  • Return material to its container and check out with the archivist.


Requesting and examining materials or making copies does not constitute authorization to publish. A separate written request to publish must be sent to the Archivist.

In all cases publication or display of archival materials must be credited as, Dominican University of California Archives, Photograph Collection or Dominican University of California Archives, Publications etc. based on the collection being used.

For citations in published or unpublished papers, the Archives & Special Collections repository should be cited as, Dominican University of California Archives, San Rafael, CA.

Samples from the Collection

Chilly the Penguin with Palm-Palms, 1990

Aerial Photograph of Campus, 1995

Bertrand Hall, 1980s

Panorama of Dominican College, 1918

The Dominican College Motherhouse, 1919

Students in front of Meadowlands Residence Hall, 1920

Guzman Library, 1930

Dominican College Graduating Class, 1950

Front cover of the Alumnae News, Spring 1963

Students in front of Caleruega Dining Hall, February 1962

Front cover of the Dominican College Notebook, November 1973

The Dominican College Firebrand Committee, 1940

Spring Festival Procession, 1928