Collection Number: 40131

Collection Title: Office of the Registrar of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records, 1795-2017

This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.


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Size 21.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 668 items)
Abstract From the founding of the university through the nineteenth century, academic record-keeping was the responsibility of the secretary of the faculty. Originally student exams were oral, and no grades were given. The secretary of the faculty maintained a record of student absences from chapel, recitations, and class sessions. At the end of each term, the Committee on Visitation of the Board of Trustees met on the campus and administered the oral exams. By 1835 a system of grading had evolved and written exams were in use. In 1886 the Board of Trustees created the position of registrar, but the position was assigned to the secretary of the faculty until 1916. The records of the Office of the Registrar include student academic records and other miscellaneous student records dating from 1795, the year the university opened, to 1907. The academic records consist of lists of students with courses taken, grades, and absences as well as trustee and faculty reports on student progress. Miscellaneous records include records of student misconduct, lists of students by home county, University Normal School admissions, examination questions, and records of student employment. Records of the office also include the Permanent Record of Courses for 1946-1981 and reports on teaching load and grade distribution, 1956-1968.
Creator University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Office of the Registrar.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
This collection contains additional materials that are not processed and are currently not available to researchers. For information about access to these materials, contact Research and Instructional Services staff. Please be advised that preparing unprocessed materials for access can be a lengthy process.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Office of the Registrar of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records #40131, University Archives, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Periodic transfer from the offices that create these records.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Historical Information

During the early years of the university, supervision of student academic progress was handled directly by the institution's Board of Trustees and faculty. Grades were not used. The professors, through the secretary of the faculty, maintained a record of student absences from the required chapel, recitation, and class sessions. The Board of Trustees' Committee on Visitation met on the campus at the end of each term to conduct oral student exams. The committee made reports to the full Board of Trustees with recommendations on student promotion and graduation. By 1835 the curriculum had expanded to include elective courses, and a system of grading evolved in which vg= very good; g=good; vr=very respectable; r=respectable; t=tolerable; b=bad; and vb=very bad.

For a number of years after 1835 oral exams by the Committee on Visitation continued. Gradually, with the further expansion of the curriculum and the growing size of the student body, written exams by the faculty replaced this earlier practice. Throughout the nineteenth century, however, academic record keeping remained the responsibility of the secretary of the faculty.

On 26 January 1886, the Board of Trustees created the position of registrar to maintain records of student admissions and grades. At first the duties of the position were simply added to those of the secretary of the faculty. Joshua Walker Gore was the first faculty member to hold the combined offices. Until 1916 the Office of the Registrar remained much the same, with Eugene Lewis Harris replacing Gore in 1894, Charles Thomas Woollen succeeding Harris in 1902, and Thomas James Wilson replacing Woollen in 1908. Under Woollen, the keeping of academic records was formalized on what have come to be known as permanent record cards, and the office began to be seen as more an administrative than a faculty responsibility. By January 1916 Thomas J. Wilson was released from other duties and became full-time registrar; and in 1923 George Kenneth Grant Henry was appointed assistant registrar. In 1930 the responsibilities for admissions and academic records were divided between Henry and Ben Husbands as assistant registrars under Wilson as dean of admissions and registrar.

The Central Office of Records was created in 1938 with Isaac Cebern Griffin as its director, reporting to Wilson. In 1942 Ben Husbands succeeded Wilson as registrar, and the division of functions under him was further formalized by the establishment of the Office of Admissions with Lee Roy Armstrong as director. The following year Husbands was replaced by William Howard Plemmons. Following Plemmons' retirement in 1947, the title of registrar was abandoned, and the directors of the Central Records Office and the Admissions Office reported directly to the chancellor.

In 1954 the Cresap and McCormick management study resulted in a reorganization of the university's administrative structure, and the Central Records Office was placed in the new Division of Student Affairs. Edwin Sidney Lanier was appointed director of the Central Records Office and the Student Aid Office. In 1961 Raymond E. Strong became director of a reorganized Office of Records and Registration. In 1966, following J. Carlyle Sitterson's appointment as chancellor, the office was moved to the Division of Academic Affairs and began reporting to the provost.

In July 1969 the Office of the Registrar and Director of Institutional Research was established with James R. Gaskin as its head, and the Office of Records and Registration was placed under it along with the offices of Student Aid and Undergraduate Admissions. In July 1971 Lillian Y. Lehman replaced Gaskin as registrar and director of institutional research. In 1973 the Division of Administration was created, and the registrar/director began reporting to the new vice chancellor for administration. On 1 July 1980, the Division of Administration was renamed Division of University Affairs. The Office of the Registrar and Director of Institutional Research remained in University Affairs and continued to oversee the offices of Records and Registration, Student Aid, and Undergraduate Admissions until Lillian Lehman's retirement in February 1984. At that time the responsibilities of the registrar and those of the director of institutional research were separated into two positions. Raymond Strong became registrar; the new director of institutional research, Timothy R. Sanford, reported to Strong.

Strong retired on 30 June 1985, and at that time the Office of Institutional Research was placed under the supervision of the provost. David Lanier became registrar effective 1 August l985. The Office of the Registrar remained within the Division of University Affairs until 31 July 1989, after which it, too, began reporting to the Office of the Provost.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The records of the Office of the Registrar include student academic records and other miscellaneous student records dating from 1795, the year the university opened, to 1903. The academic records consist of lists of students with courses taken, grades, and absences as well as trustee and faculty reports on student progress. Miscellaneous records include records of student misconduct, lists of students by home county, University Normal School admissions, examination questions, and records of student employment. Records of the office also include the Permanent Record of Courses for 1946-1981 and reports on teaching load and grade distribution, 1956-1968.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Student Records and Faculty Reports, 1795-1907.

475 items.

Arrangement: Arranged in two series, Academic Records and Miscellaneous Student Records.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903.

250 items.

Arrangement: By format, then chronologically.

During the early years of the university, supervision of student academic progress was handled directly by the institution's Board of Trustees and faculty. Grades were not used. The professors, through the secretary of the faculty, maintained a record of student absences from the required chapel, recitation, and class sessions. The Board of Trustees' Committee on Visitation met on the campus at the end of each term to conduct oral student exams. The committee made reports to the full Board of Trustees with recommendations on student promotion and graduation. By 1835 the curriculum had expanded to include elective courses, and a system of grading evolved in which vg=very good; g=good; vr=very respectable; r=respectable; t=tolerable; b=bad; and vb=very bad. For a number of years after 1835 oral exams by the Committee on Visitation continued. Gradually, with the further expansion of the curriculum and the growing size of the student body, written exams by the faculty replaced this earlier practice. Throughout the nineteenth century, however, academic record keeping remained the responsibility of the secretary of the faculty. These records provide basic documentation of student academic progress and include courses taken, grades, and absences as well as faculty and trustee reports.

Folder 1

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, August 1795-April 1801 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 1

(see also Folder 5 below)

Folder 2

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, November 1802-March 1805 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 2

(see also Folder 6 below)

Folder 3

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, July-October 1805 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 3

(see also Folder 6 below)

Folder 4

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, November 1805-August 1809 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 4

(see also Folder 6 below)

Folder 5

Monthly Faculty Reports, February 1800-October 1801 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 5

Folder 6

Trustee Committee on Visitation Exam Reports, June 1804-June 1809 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 6

Folder 7

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, November 1809-June 1815 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 7

Folder 8

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, November 1816-September 1819 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 8

Folder 9

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, May 1820-December 1822 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 9

Folder 10

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, June 1823-December 1824 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 10

Folder 11

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, June-December 1825 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 11

Folder 12

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, April-December 1826 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 12

Folder 13

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, 1827 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 13

Folder 14

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, 1828-1829 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 14

Folder 15

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, 1830-1832 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 15

Folder 16

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, 1833-1838 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 16

(see also Volumes 1 and 8)

Folder 17

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, 1839-1840 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 17

(see also Volumes 1, 8, and 9)

Folder 18

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, 1841-1842 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 18

(see also Volumes 1 and 10)

Folder 19

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, 1843-1844 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 19

(see also Volumes 1 and 10)

Folder 20

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, 1845 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 20

(see also Volumes 1 and 10)

Folder 21

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, 1846-1847 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 21

(see also Volumes 1 and 10)

Folder 22

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, 1848 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 22

Folder 23

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, 1849-1851 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 23

(see also Volumes 1 and 2)

Folder 24

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, 1852-1854 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 24

(see also Volumes 2 and 3)

Folder 25

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, 1855-1856 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 25

(see also Volumes 2 and 3)

Folder 26

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, 1857 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 26

(see also Volumes 2 and 3)

Folder 27

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, 1858 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 27

(see also Volumes 2 and 3)

Folder 28

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, 1859 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 28

(see also Volumes 2 and 3)

Folder 29

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, 1860-1861 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 29

(see also Volumes 2 and 3)

Folder 30

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, 1862-1863 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 30

(see also Volumes 2 and 3)

Folder 31

Faculty and Trustee Exam Reports, 1866-1869 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." Folder 31

(see also Volumes 2 and 3)

Volume 1

Record by class of courses, grades, and absences, January 1833-June 1849 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." 1

(see also Folders 16-21)

Volume 2

Trustee Committee on Visitation Exam Reports and Record by class of courses, grades, and absences, June 1849-June 1866 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." 2

(see also Folders 23-31)

Oversize Volume 3

Record by class of courses, grades, and absences, July 1852-June 1868 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." 3

(see also Folders 24-31)

Oversize Volume 4

Record by class of courses, grades, and absences, Fall 1875-Spring 1885 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." 4

(see also Volumes 11 and 12)

Oversize Volume 5

Record by class of courses, grades, and absences, Fall 1882-Spring 1897 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." 5

(see also Volumes 11, 12, and 13)

Oversize Volume 6

Record by class of courses, grades, and absences, Fall 1893-Fall 1902 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." 6

(indexed; includes medical students, 1895-1899, pp.597-600, and pharmacy students, 1898-1899, p.601; see also Volume 13 and Portfolio 2)

Oversize Volume 7

Record by class of courses, grades, and absences, Fall 1898-Spring 1903 #40131, Series: "1.1. Academic Records, 1795-1903." 7

(indexed; includes medical students, 1898-1901, pp.1-14, and pharmacy students, 1899-1901, p.15-23; see also Volume 13 and Portfolio 2)

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1.2. Miscellaneous Student Records, 1838-1907.

225 items.

These records consist of materials secondary to those listed in Series 1. Included are records of student misconduct, lists of students arranged by home county, University Normal School admissions, course examination questions, and records of student employment.

Volume 8

Records of student misconduct and absences, 26 October 1838-25 September 1840 #40131, Series: "1.2. Miscellaneous Student Records, 1838-1907." 8

Volume 9

Records of student misconduct and absences, 16 October 1840-17 November 1840 #40131, Series: "1.2. Miscellaneous Student Records, 1838-1907." 9

Volume 10

Records of student misconduct and absences, 22 January 1841-1 October 1847 #40131, Series: "1.2. Miscellaneous Student Records, 1838-1907." 10

Volume 11

Records of students admitted, 1876-1890 #40131, Series: "1.2. Miscellaneous Student Records, 1838-1907." 11

(arranged by home county; also given are date and place of birth, parents' names, and brief academic history)

Volume 12

Records of University Normal School for Teachers, 1880-1884 #40131, Series: "1.2. Miscellaneous Student Records, 1838-1907." 12

(arranged chronologically with names, addresses, public schools, and educational/teaching experience of attendees)

Volume 13

Records of University Normal School for Teachers, Fall 1875-Spring 1879; 1881; Summer 1895-Summer 1903; Summer 1907 #40131, Series: "1.2. Miscellaneous Student Records, 1838-1907." 13

(arranged chronologically with names, addresses, public schools, and educational/teaching experience of attendees)

Folder 32

Examination questions, 1899-1901 #40131, Series: "1.2. Miscellaneous Student Records, 1838-1907." Folder 32

(arranged by course)

Folder 33

Records of student employment, 1900-1901 #40131, Series: "1.2. Miscellaneous Student Records, 1838-1907." Folder 33

(questionnaires arranged alphabetically by student name, giving job and expenses for 1900-1901 academic year)

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Office of the Registrar, 1946-1981.

193 items.

Arrangement: Arranged in five series.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2.1. Administrative Files [VACANT] .

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2.2. Academic Records [VACANT] .

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2.3. Permanent Record of Courses, 1946-2017.

149 items.

Arrangement: Chronological.

The Permanent Record of Courses lists all courses taught in a given term with the following additional information on each course: department, course number, credit hours, meeting time, meeting location, number of students enrolled, and instructor name.

Box 2:1

Winter Quarter 1946-Fall Quarter 1952 #40131, Series: "2.3. Permanent Record of Courses, 1946-2017." Box 2:1

Box 2:2

Winter Quarter 1953-Fall Semester 1958 #40131, Series: "2.3. Permanent Record of Courses, 1946-2017." Box 2:2

Box 2:3

Spring Semester 1959-Fall Semester 1964 #40131, Series: "2.3. Permanent Record of Courses, 1946-2017." Box 2:3

Box 2:4

Spring Semester 1965-Fall Semester 1969 #40131, Series: "2.3. Permanent Record of Courses, 1946-2017." Box 2:4

Box 2:5

Spring Semester 1970-Fall Semester 1973 #40131, Series: "2.3. Permanent Record of Courses, 1946-2017." Box 2:5

Box 2:6

Spring Semester 1974-Fall Semester 1976 #40131, Series: "2.3. Permanent Record of Courses, 1946-2017." Box 2:6

Box 2:7

Spring Semester 1977-Fall Semester 1979 #40131, Series: "2.3. Permanent Record of Courses, 1946-2017." Box 2:7

Box 2:8

Spring Semester 1980-Fall Semester 1981 #40131, Series: "2.3. Permanent Record of Courses, 1946-2017." Box 2:8

Digital Folder DF-40131/1

Fall Semester 2010 #40131, Series: "2.3. Permanent Record of Courses, 1946-2017." DF-40131/1

RT 20170718.1

Digital Folder DF-40131/2

Spring, Summer, and Fall Semesters 2011 #40131, Series: "2.3. Permanent Record of Courses, 1946-2017." DF-40131/2

RT 20170718.1

Digital Folder DF-40131/3

Spring, Summer, and Fall Semesters 2012 #40131, Series: "2.3. Permanent Record of Courses, 1946-2017." DF-40131/3

RT 20170718.1

Digital Folder DF-40131/4

Spring, Summer, and Fall Semesters 2013 #40131, Series: "2.3. Permanent Record of Courses, 1946-2017." DF-40131/4

RT 20170718.1

Digital Folder DF-40131/5

Spring, Summer, and Fall Semesters 2014 #40131, Series: "2.3. Permanent Record of Courses, 1946-2017." DF-40131/5

RT 20170718.1

Digital Folder DF-40131/6

Spring, Summer, and Fall Semesters 2015 #40131, Series: "2.3. Permanent Record of Courses, 1946-2017." DF-40131/6

RT 20170718.1

Digital Folder DF-40131/7

Spring, Summer, and Fall Semesters 2016 #40131, Series: "2.3. Permanent Record of Courses, 1946-2017." DF-40131/7

RT 20170718.1

Digital Folder DF-40131/8

Spring and Summer Semesters, 2017 #40131, Series: "2.3. Permanent Record of Courses, 1946-2017." DF-40131/8

RT 20170718.1

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2.4. Teaching Load Reports, 1956-1968.

23 items.

Arrangement: Chronological.

These reports list numbers of students taught (broken down by undergraduate and graduate) and number and level (e.g., 1-99 level, 100 level, etc.) of courses taught by instructor name for all courses in a given term. Instructors are arranged within schools, departments, and subjects and are further divided within these classifications by academic rank (e.g., professor, assistant professor, teaching assistant, etc.).

Box 2:9

Spring Semester 1956-Spring Semester 1968 #40131, Series: "2.4. Teaching Load Reports, 1956-1968." Box 2:9

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2.5. Grade Distribution Reports, 1956-1968.

21 items.

Arrangement: Chronological.

These reports list the number and distribution of grades given to undergraduates (e.g., number of A grades, A- grades, B+ grades, etc., including PS, AB, IN, and other special grades) by course for all courses in a given term. Courses are arranged by school, department, and subject (e.g., folklore, history, education, French, public policy analysis, art, naval science, etc.). Course information includes course number, section number and instructor name.

Box 2:10

Spring Semester 1956-Fall Semester 1968 #40131, Series: "2.5. Grade Distribution Reports, 1956-1968." Box 2:10

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Processing Information

Processed by: University Archives Staff, March 2005

Encoded by: Susan Ballinger, June 2005

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