Frequently Asked Questions
How can I find out more about someone who used to attend or work at the University of Minnesota?
The collections of the University of Minnesota Archives are a rich source for genealogy research. These materials are available for use on-site by appointment. In addition, many of these materials are also available online in the University Digital Conservancy (UDC).
In the University Digital Conservancy, you’ll find full-text searchable collections for:
- Directories (Students/Staff) - These annual volumes include campus address, major course of study, and expected graduation year for registered students (undergraduate, graduate, professional), and campus address and job title for faculty, administrators, and staff. Directories cover 1908 to 2008 for the Twin Cities campus.
- Commencement Programs - University-wide commencement ceremony programs (for the Twin Cities campus) include alphabetical lists of graduates, organized by college, receiving associate’s, bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctoral, and professional degrees from 1873 to 1991.
- Register of Ph.D. Degrees -Along with commencement programs, this resource, reflecting graduates from 1888 to 1986, lists the degrees earned by Ph.D. recipients, their thesis or dissertation title, and advisor.
- Cap and Gown Day Programs - These publications were created for the annual convocation that celebrates graduating seniors who had been awarded scholarships, graduation honors and elections to honorary societies. Volumes are available from 1950-1970.
- Campus History -This collection encompasses published and unpublished histories of the University of Minnesota and its departments, colleges, and programs, including "General Catalogue of The University of Minnesota,".
- Alumni Association Magazine - Published continuously since 1901, the magazine covers the teaching, research, and outreach missions of the University of Minnesota and includes features and news briefs about alumni accomplishments, faculty research, campus issues, and Alumni Association events. Issues from 1901 to 2008 included in collection.
- M Club Directories-These list the sport and letter year for each University athlete letterwinner from 1881 to 1973.
- University Budgets- reports from 1911 to 1960 are digitized and available for online use. These provide dates of service for faculty, staff, and administrators. Budget reports from 1911 to 2009 are also available as print resources for use and are located in the University Archives office.
- Student Organization Directories- These lists various student groups from 1940-79, their officers, and sometimes a general description of the group in question.
For information on graduates between 1873 and 1916:
- University catalogs and bulletins - These publications from the late 1800s to early 1910s often include lists of current students and alumni.
- The "General Catalogue of The University of Minnesota" - This is an inclusive listing of University alumni from the first graduating class in 1873 through 1916 and includes alumni lists by college or school as well as geographical and alphabetical lists.
Other resources are available for use in The University of Minnesota Archives’ office, including:
- The Gopher yearbooks- Published from 1888 to 1967, the yearbooks include senior class photos and profiles, other class photos and profiles, athletics, organizations and activities (homecoming, literary societies, academic and other fraternities and sororities, performing arts, etc.), faculty, administrators, senior class index, general index, and table of contents
- Employee Index prior to 1920 lists appointments, promotions, resignations, and retirements of faculty and staff
- Athletics media guides and programs provide athlete profiles, team histories, and season highlights for various University intercollegiate men’s and women’s sports teams
Note: A name appearing in a commencement program is not official confirmation of a degree being received. The University Archives does not have individual student records or transcripts, for this information please contact the University of Minnesota One Stop Student Services which provides assistance to academic genealogists. They can provide the dates of attendance and degree received for former UMN students.
To receive a copy of the transcript of a University of Minnesota student, you will need to submit a request to One Stop Student Services. The request must include information outlined on their website.
For other inquiries regarding former employment at the U of M, please contact our Office of Human Resources at 612-625-2016 or firstname.lastname@example.org.