Brandeis University Archives

  • Robert D. Farber University Archives and Special Collections


Goldfarb Library, Judaica Department
415 South Street
MA 02254
United States


+1 617-736-4685
+1 781-736-4657


Brandeis University (est. 1948) is the first and only Jewish-sponsored, nonsectarian institution of higher learning in the United States. Its founders embraced a firm commitment to social justice and renounced discrimination based on race, creed, or ethnic origin. Though a relatively young university, Brandeis has a rich and noteworthy history. For this reason, in addition to serving internal information needs, our collections are utilized by researchers interested in a great array of subjects.

From its inception, Brandeis University has attracted many leading scholars, intellectuals, creative artists, and innovators to its doors. The first master plan was designed by Eero Saarinen, and the second by Max Abramovitz. These renowned architects transformed a bucolic campus, with a horse stable for a library, into a distinctive modernist landscape. Early faculty members included Leonard Bernstein, Irving Howe, Max Lerner, Herbert Marcuse, Abraham Maslow, and Eleanor Roosevelt. Guest speakers such as Angela Davis (class of 1965), Robert Frost, Martha Graham, David Ben-Gurion, Martin Luther King, Jr., Margaret Mead, and the Dalai Lama have visited the campus.

Geographical and Cultural Context

The University Archives serves academic research and scholarship by collecting, providing access to, and publicizing its archival collections to the University and larger research communities. Through reference assistance, classroom education, public exhibitions, and community outreach, the Archives promotes the importance of its collections in documenting and facilitating research on the unique history and mission of Brandeis University.

The University Archives is named for the late Robert D. Farber (1948-1995). Farber received his bachelor's degree in studio arts from Brandeis University in 1970 and became a successful painter. Two of Farber's paintings are on permanent exhibit at the Archives.

Mandates/Sources of Authority

The Robert D. Farber University Archives serves as the central repository for information and records created by, for, and about Brandeis University. Its mission is to identify, collect, preserve, and make available permanent records of historical, administrative, and research value to the Brandeis community and to provide a useful information service to its members and the general public. The Archives seeks to advance the educational and research aims of Brandeis University and to promote knowledge and understanding of its origins, goals, strategic plans, programs, and culture. The Archives works in support of the University’s goals regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion, and is informed by anti-oppressive standards and practices as they evolve within the archives profession.*

To achieve its mission, the Robert D. Farber University Archives recognizes a two-fold responsibility. It has a primary responsibility to collect, appraise, arrange, describe, preserve, and provide access to recorded data in all formats produced as part of the official business of the University. Therefore, the Archives actively collects materials that reflect all aspects of the University's functions in the areas of administration, teaching, research, program development, public relations, student support, and cultural enrichment, as well as the Brandeis activities of faculty, staff, students and alumni.

Second, the Archives serves academic research and scholarship by publicizing the content, value, and potential uses of its archival collections to the University and larger research communities. Through classroom instruction, public exhibitions, and community outreach programming, the Archives promotes the importance of its collections in documenting, and facilitating research into the unique history and mission of Brandeis University.

Records Management and Collecting Policies

University Records Management (URM) assists in the management of records in all formats to meet legal and contractual requirements, to satisfy the operational needs and efficiency of the University, and to guide Brandeis employees, faculty, and students in proper record stewardship and retention practice.

URM provides managed off-site storage and retrieval, secure shredding, and assistance with digitization of paper Brandeis records. Please contact 781-736-8759 or, or visit the Records Management LibGuide for more information about these services.”

Conditions of Access

Researchers are encouraged to make an appointment at least one week in advance, and may request as many boxes from collections as they would like.


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Research Services

Archives and Special Collections is open for research appointments, both virtually and in-person. Viewing sessions may also be made virtually through Zoom for either one rare book or up to three folders. Please see Reference Appointment Protocols for more information, and contact or call 781-736-4657 for appointment times.

Reproduction Services

You can request individual chapters or articles from books, journals, conference proceedings, theses, dissertations, reports, newspapers, or microfilm. These requests can be for items that are in the Brandeis Library or items that are not available at Brandeis. By registering to use Interlibrary Loan services and submitting requests for materials, users accept responsibility for complying with United States Copyright Law.


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