The UASC supports the David L. Rice Library mission statement in addition to being committed to acquiring and preserving material about the development and the operations of the University. It has a secondary mission to preserve regional history, focusing on the southwestern region of Indiana. The department is dedicated to preservation and organization of materials for the purpose of research.
The UASC will accept materials relating to the history and development of the University of Southern Indiana.
The UASC will evaluate for possible acceptance of personal collections if the materials are related to regional history, with historical importance due to content or persons. This may include but is not limited to personal papers, private library collections, photographs, oral histories, with proper documentation, family or business history from the area. Rare books, general items of local interest, or items deemed to have an educational value supporting either the library or the University's missions may be considered for addition to the collection.
In the summer of 1972 the Lilly Endowment, Inc. of Indianapolis, Indiana awarded Indiana State University Evansville a three-year grant to establish an archival project for the acquisition, preservation and processing of regional material. At the end of the third year the University was to assume responsibility for continuing the growth of the Special Collections. When co-directors Josephine Elliot, Archivist, and Darrel Bigham, University History Professor, established the Special Collections/University Archives Department, they started with just a few regional history books on Indiana from the general collection of the library. By 1993 the collection has grown to over 2700 books, 495 audio and video tapes, and 315 manuscript collections. Today the collection holds 408 personal collections, over 700 audio/video tapes, and 5435 monographs.
The University Archives was housed in the lower level of the old library facility from 1983 to 2006, at which time the new David L. Rice Library was opened and the Archives got a new home on the third floor, with full facilities to housed and preserve the special collections.