University of Rochester Archives

University of Rochester Crest
The University Archives is the main source for information and images about the history of the University. We hope to provide a comprehensive source for all aspects of University history. 

If you don't find the answer to your questions here, please contact Melissa S. Mead, the John M. and Barbara Keil University Archivist and Rochester Collections Librarian.





The front doors of Rush Rhees Library are carved with text composed by Professor John Rothwell Slater, head of the Department of English at the University of Rochester from 1908 to 1942.

  • On the left : The Doors Of The Past Open To Those Who Seek to Know What Has Been...The History of the Stars, the Earth, Sunlight, Life and Man's Long Journey.
  • In the center: The Doors Of The Present Open To Those Who Seek To Know What Man Can Do...To Master His Fate By Science, Sustain His Spirit by Art, and Guide His Life By Wisdom.
  • To the right: The Doors Of The Future Open To Those Who Wonder What Life May Become...When Men are Free in Body and Soul, Loving All Beauty, Serving in Many Ways One God

It is often said that one's character or interests are revealed by which door one chooses to use to enter the Library. On this website, we invite you to try all three, and to find out more about the University's past, present and future.


Past: The Collections, facts, images, timeline, traditions, etc.
Present: Current events, press releases, etc.
Future: Upcoming events