Scope and Content of Collection
Language of Material:
Special Collections and Archives, University of California, Irvine
Title: University of California, Irvine, Central Records Unit records
University of California, Irvine. Central Records Unit
Identifier/Call Number: AS.004
311.3 Linear Feet
(765 boxes and 11 oversize folders) and 14.6 unprocessed linear
Date (inclusive): 1928-1994, bulk 1965-1984
Date (bulk): 1965-1984
Abstract: These records capture a large
proportion of the most important, top-level incoming correspondence of the first three
decades of UCI's history. The collection contains correspondence, departmental memos,
meeting minutes, financial statements, statistical analyses, reports, program development
plans, building development plans, legal records, and miscellaneous notes generated by
various units of central UCI campus administration and UC offices. Some of the materials
predate the establishment of the Central Records Unit in 1963. The bulk of the records
pertain to campus administrative activities and operations, academic affairs, academic
departments, community affairs and the planning and construction of the UCI
Most processed components of the collection are open for research. However, boxes 578, 602,
712, and 728-731 are restricted. Please see collection contents for more details.
Unprocessed additions may contain restricted materials. Please contact the Special
Collections and Archives Department in advance to request access.
Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by
the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or to publish,
please contact the Head of Special Collections and University Archives.
University of California, Irvine, Central Records Unit records. AS-004. Special Collections
and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Date accessed.
For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information
about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder
descriptions, and box/folder locations.
The Central Records Unit transferred the bulk of these records to the University Archives
in 1988. Subsequent accessions were added between 1988 and 1994. Almost 300 linear feet of
additional materials were accessioned in 2001. An additional 1.6 linear feet were added in
2010. 11 linear feet of legal records were added in 2013. Another 11 boxes were added in
Upon receipt in 1988 the collection was rehoused by Archives staff. The collection was
processed by Archives staff from 1997 to 2000. Additional materials were processed in 2003,
2007-2008, 2010, and 2013.
The Central Records Unit was established by Vice Chancellor L.E. Cox in late 1963 and began
operations on January 1, 1964. The primary goal of the unit was to provide central
administrative offices a simple and effective system to manage their administrative
documents and collect and maintain a body of material that would serve as campus
administration's corporate memory for business purposes. This unit provided a central
location for the maintenance of office files, reproduction services, processing incoming and
outgoing mail, monitoring action items until they were completed, distribution of campus
administrative procedure and policy statements, and managing retention schedules for records
having administrative, legal, fiscal, or research value. Initially the offices served by
Central Records included the Chancellor's Office, Public Affairs, Student Affairs (except
student records), Vice Chancellor of Business and Finance, Architects and Engineers,
Personnel (except records on individuals), Purchasing, Grounds and Buildings and various
Central Records procedures for processing campus mail varied through the years. Prior to
1989, Central Records sorted and routed mail directly to addressees. In 1989, at the request
of Chancellor Peltason and with the goal of speeding up mail processing, Central Records
began photocopying all incoming U.S. and campus mail addressed to administrative control
points by name or title. Control points included the Chancellor, the Executive Assistant to
the Chancellor, the Executive Vice Chancellor, the Assistant to the Executive Vice
Chancellor, the Vice Chancellors, the Associate Vice Chancellors, and the Assistant Vice
Chancellors. In 1989, the photocopies were sent to addressees, and the originals were
retained and filed by Central Records. In 1990 processing policy changed: photocopies were
filed and the originals were forwarded to the addressee. Once material was no longer of use
to the addressee or office, Central Records encouraged the return of the original documents
so they could be placed back in Central Records files, and the photocopies were discarded.
Mail marked "Administrative Confidential," "Addressee Only," "Personal," or "Mr. and Mrs."
was forwarded directly to the addressee and not opened or photocopied by Central Records.
This approach was in place from 1990-1992.
The Central Records Unit functioned as an office of record for campus administration. In
addition to its records management function, Central Records also accepted any materials
that departments believed had historical value for eventual transfer to the University
Archives, which the Library began staffing in ca. 1968.
At its inception, Central Records faced a good deal of reluctance and suspicion, since
staff feared placing their files in a central administrative area "for all to see." The
active support of top campus administrators helped immeasurably to overcome these attitudes.
Soon departments found Central Records services to be an efficient and dependable means of
managing their records.
In its first year of operation the Central Records Unit achieved many of its goals,
including saving space and equipment, eliminating duplicate material campuswide, and
building the beginnings of a systematic records management program. Unfortunately, the unit
also encountered a dilemma that would become increasingly problematic in future years:
limited staffing vs. an increasing amount of incoming material due to the growth of the
campus. In future years lack of space also became a major problem. In 1975 and 1981 files
were selectively microfilmed in order to provide more space for incoming materials, and some
original documents may have been discarded.
Central Records service was designed for high-level administrators in the Administration
building. Services were offered to other departments on a voluntary basis. When a department
in the Administration building decided not to utilize Central Records services, all mail was
sent directly to the office or department unopened, and the department was responsible for
maintaining its own records. When an office moved out of the Administration building,
Central Records services were no longer provided to that office.
At times when Central Records staff suffered heavy workloads, modifications to current
procedures were made in order to place more responsibility with the individual departments
for records upkeep. Invariably, these modifications significantly affected the continuity of
Central Records files. If left to the departments, many did not regularly forward the
required materials to be included in Central Records. For example, due to a heavy workload
in 1971, Central Records stopped processing the Purchasing department's mail. The processing
was reinstated in 1972 when staff realized that legal records that the department had
forgotten to forward were missing from Central Records files.
In the mid-1980s, for a variety of reasons, some Central Records users began duplicating
Central Records tracking activities in their own offices. A memo from Dowrene Hahn, Records
Management Coordinator, dated August 21, 1984 stated that "The Central Records system should
be updated to minimize or eliminate the need for logging by individual offices." Soon after,
the Central Records Task Force was created to examine the present performance of the unit.
Their final report states:
The methods established to perform these functions accommodated the University of
California (Irvine) during the 1960s but have become less efficient in recent years. Many
service and function changes have taken place in this time, along with organizational
changes and new management in Central Records and at higher levels of campus administration.
The revolutionary advances in office automation and information processing have also
significantly impacted Central Records.
Among other things, the Task Force recommended that Central Records not maintain personal
files or departmental working files. Otherwise, "a radical reassignment of job
responsibilities and additional space, equipment, and personnel would be required to
facilitate all departmental demands placed on the current system."
In 1985, with hopes of attaining a higher level of control over files housed at Central
Records, a computerized database was introduced to index all documents on file. Each
document was assigned a unique number that was used to identify the document in the
database; physical items were still filed by subject. Central Records staff read each
incoming document and entered keywords describing the document's subject into the database.
The database gave staff the ability to locate documents using the document number,
addressee, sender, and subject keywords.
In 1991 the Central Records Unit moved from the Administration Building to North Campus,
and staffing was cut from 9 FTE to 2 FTE over the course of about four years. As a result
Central Records abandoned its mail-processing component and delivered mail directly to each
department. Since mail processing was in the hands of each department, Central Records
depended on each office to forward appropriate materials for inclusion in Central Records.
At this point, the campus records manager, Dowrene Hahn, began advising individual
departments on managing their own records, including what type of documents to maintain, for
how long, and where permanent documents should be forwarded (to either Central Records or
University Archives). Central Records was disbanded in 1992 at the beginning of the
administration of Chancellor Laurel Wilkening due to budget cuts.
||Established by Vice Chancellor L.E. Cox.
||Began servicing campus from the Library Administration Building.
||Moved to the Administration Building.
||Name changed to Administrative Services.
||Microfilming of permanent records covering 1963-1969.
||Microfilming of permanent records covering 1970-1977.
||Name changed back to Central Records.
||Central Records Task Force commissioned to review current procedures.
||Computerized database introduced to index all documents on file.
||Moved to North Campus facility.
||Eliminated processing of incoming campus and U.S. mail (served
||Disbanded due to campus budget cuts.
Scope and Content of Collection
These records capture a large proportion of the most important, top-level incoming
correspondence of the first three decades of UCI's history. The collection contains
correspondence, departmental memos, meeting minutes, financial statements, statistical
analyses, reports, program development plans, building development plans, and miscellaneous
notes generated by various units of central UCI campus administration and UC offices. Some
of the materials predate the establishment of the Central Records Unit in 1963. The bulk of
the records pertain to campus administrative activities and operations, academic affairs,
academic departments, community affairs and the planning and construction of the UCI
The function of Central Records was to collect and document the corporate memory of UCI for
business purposes. For this reason, the bulk of this collection consists of campus
administration material. Coverage of other campus units such as alumni affairs, personnel,
student affairs, extramural financial aids, gifts and endowments, university advancement,
contracts and grants, centers, institutes, organized research units, libraries, and UC
systemwide affairs is relatively weak.
Researchers interested in early Irvine city planning should consult series 12 (Community
Affairs). This series includes material on the Irvine City Council, Irvine City Planning
Commission, Council of the Communities of Irvine, and Irvine Tomorrow, covering the years
1960 through 1983.
Material in the collection is largely textual, although many maps and blueprints are
included in Series 15-17. Other formats scattered throughout the collection are microfilm
and a few photographs.
There is no way to know how complete this collection is for the represented offices. As
various offices began taking control of their own files in later years, documents may not
have been forwarded to Central Records on a regular basis. As a result, the collection at
present best documents administrative activities and operations in UCI's early years. This
balance is likely to change as additional records are transferred to the University Archives
From 1964 through 1985, a purple-edged sticker was affixed when an item was routed,
indicating the name of the addressee and the date. In 1985, the use of stickers was
abandoned and Central Records began attaching colored slips to routed items. Red slips were
attached to action items, and green slips were attached to informal items. During the
processing of this collection, adhesive stickers and stapled routing slips were not removed
from Central Records material. The information on these remaining stickers and slips reflect
the last person to whom the file was routed.
After photocopying and distributing the originals of campus and U.S. mail, Central Records
processing activities also included penciling a file plan classification number in the top
right corner of each item or group of items (see "Organization" following this section for a
description of the file plan scheme). The material was then filed according to these
numbers, in reverse chronological order. In processing this collection, materials within
each folder were reorganized into chronological order.
In addition to the file plan number, each document was annotated at top right as
"Permanent" or "Routine." Documents were classified as "Permanent" (indicated by a "P") if
Central Records determined that they had permanent historical value. Permanent document
types included policies, procedures, meeting minutes, reports, contracts, plans, financial
statements and statistical analyses. Documents such as brochures, notices and miscellaneous
loose papers were classified as "Routine" (indicated by an "R"). Both "P" and "R" documents
are interfiled within folders and within file plan series.
Some documents lack any annotation of file plan number or permanent/routine character.
These may have been transferred to the Central Records collection from elsewhere in the
These records are arranged into 19 series corresponding to the highest level of the file
plan arrangement imposed by the Central Records Unit based on its file plan. The number
sequence that follows each series title indicates the relevant segment of the file plan.
- Series 0. File Index to the Central Records Unit 0.4 linear ft.
- Series 1. University Affairs (100-149) 0.2 linear ft.
- Series 1a. University Affairs (100-149), additional records 2.4 linear ft.
- Series 2. Personnel (150-299) 2.7 linear ft.
- Series 2a. Personnel (150-299), additional records 23.8 linear ft.
- Series 3. Administrative Activities and Operations (300-399) 21.2 linear ft.
- Series 3a. Administrative Activities and Operations (300-399), additional records
42.4 linear ft.
- Series 4. Academic Affairs (400-449) 10.7 linear ft.
- Series 4a. Academic Affairs (400-449), additional records 8.8 linear ft.
- Series 5. Academic Departments, Schools and Colleges (450-524) 16.5 linear
- Series 5a. Academic Departments, Schools and Colleges (450-524), additional records
28.2 linear ft.
- Series 6. Bureaus, Centers, Institutes, Museums, Organized Research Units and
Libraries (525-599) 2.2 linear ft.
- Series 6a. Bureaus, Centers, Institutes, Museums, Organized Research Units and
Libraries (525-599), additional records 5.4 linear ft.
- Series 7. Student Affairs (600-639) 4.7 linear ft.
- Series 7a. Student Affairs (600-639), additional records 18.8 linear ft.
- Series 8. Extramural Financial Aids (640-649) 1.6 linear ft.
- Series 8a. Extramural Financial Aids (640-649), additional records 10.6 linear
- Series 9. Alumni Affairs (650-674) 0.2 linear ft.
- Series 9a. Alumni Affairs (650-674), additional records 0.8 linear ft.
- Series 10. Gifts and Endowments (675-679) 0.8 linear ft.
- Series 10a. Gifts and Endowments (675-679), additional records 3.0 linear ft.
- Series 11. University Advancement (680-744) 2.6 linear ft.
- Series 11a. University Advancement (680-744), additional records 11.2 linear
- Series 12. Community Affairs (745-749) 3.2 linear ft.
- Series 12a. Community Affairs (745-749), additional records 2.7 linear ft.
- Series 13. Government Agencies (750-799) 1.6 linear ft.
- Series 13a. Government Agencies (750-799), additional records 0.9 linear ft.
- Series 14. Extramural Contracts and Grants (800-849) 0.8 linear ft.
- Series 14a. Extramural Contracts and Grants (800-849), additional records 6.3 linear
- Series 15. Plant - Planning and Construction (850-879) 16.3 linear ft.
- Series 15a. Plant - Planning and Construction (850-879), additional records 29.2
- Series 16. Plant - Operations (880-914) 0.5 linear ft.
- Series 16a. Plant - Operations (880-914), additional records 11.9 linear ft.
- Series 17. Plant - Non-Instructional Activities (915-949) 1.9 linear ft.
- Series 17a. Plant - Non-Instructional Activities (915-949), additional records 4.8
- Series 18. Chancellor's Personal Files (950-974) 0.6 linear ft.
- Series 19. Legal records, 11 linear ft.
The collection also contains two unprocessed additions:
Accession 2003.008A: Chancellor's Advisory Committee on the Status of Women unprocessed
addition, 1971-1991, 0.4 linear ft. Accession 2014.017: Central Records unprocessed
addition, circa 1959-1991, 11 linear ft.
The file plan is structured in multiple tiers. For example:
- Tier 1 (Series) Personnel (150-299)
- Tier 2 200 Academic
- Tier 3 200-20 Appointment, Promotion, Termination
- Tier 4 200-20-01 General
Each first-tier series heading is followed by inclusive file plan numbers for the entire
series. The second-tier three-digit number represents a more specific section of the series.
In the third and fourth tiers, two-digit numbers are added which represent more specific
subject filing within the hierarchy.
Users of the collections should be aware that filers varied in their skill and attention to
details of the file plan, and some items may therefore be filed under a higher "tier" than
The Central Records file plan has changed over the years; file plan numbers have been
deleted and added to accommodate the changing campus administrative structure. In this
collection many file plan numbers have no material filed under them; these files have not
yet been processed, but are available for use through consultation with the University
File plan numbers and titles taken from the latest version of the Central Records file plan
were used throughout this guide; obsolete numbers were not utilized. In addition, file plan
numbers with no material associated do not appear in this guide.
Series 19 (Legal records) was added in 2013 and was originally arranged by lettered code
rather than by a numeric code sequence. Most of the records in this series do have a number
sequence written on them, but they are not arranged by this sequence.
Central Records numbers 950-974, Chancellor's Personal Files (.04 linear feet) were removed
from this collection and filed in Chancellor Daniel G. Aldrich Records (AS-001).