Effective Jan. 1, University Archives and Records Center (UARC), Special Collections and Digital Initiatives merged to form Archives and Special Collections (ASC).

“The convenience of users was the driving force,” said Carrie Daniels, university archivist and ASC director.

Because UARC and Special Collections (Rare Books and Photographic Archives) have some similar collections, researchers often did not know which repository to consult, she explained, and if they needed materials from both UARC and Special Collections, they had to go to both — at opposite ends of Ekstrom Library.

The merger provides one physical reference desk location and telephone number, Daniels said. The reference area is in the lower level, east wing of Ekstrom Library. One exception to its use is for people who want to use the papers of former congressman, Ron Mazzoli. Those still are accessed in the UARC Mazzoli Reading Room, fourth floor of Ekstrom Library. That room also is used for classes, meetings and other events.

Other merger benefits for users are expanded research hours and a single price structure and reproduction policy for ASC units, Daniels said.

ASC units will maintain their separate identities. UARC, for instance, still will handle Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) issues, records management and open records requests. Collections of UARC, Rare Books and Photographic Archives also will remain distinct.

ASC is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. People with reference questions can call 852-6752. More information, including hours, is on the ASC website.