What We Do

The mission of the NSF NCAR Archives is to collect, manage, preserve, and share the history of NSF NCAR and UCAR through documents, photos, interviews, websites, and other records. The NSF NCAR Archives serves as the main source of information and resources related to NCAR's history, particularly in the areas of Earth systems science research and technology as well as education and community building.

The Archives is part of the NSF NCAR Library and was established in 1984 following recommendations from the AIP Center for History of Physics and after staff became interested in preserving institutional memory during preparations for NSF NCAR's 25th Anniversary celebration.

We collect materials that document the mission and work of NSF NCAR and UCAR in the following areas:

  • Scientific research
  • Support functions that facilitate research
  • Supercomputing
  • Effects of weather and climate on society
  • Contributions to the field of science
  • Education and training services
  • Outreach and community building
  • Using science for the betterment of humankind and society
  • Administrative records that document the above activities
  • The personal and professional papers of some scientists, engineers, administrators, and program staff

For more information on contributing material to the Archives, please visit the page on transferring records or contact us.


The NCAR Archives is open by appointment Monday-Thursday, from 10:00-4:00 (holidays excluded). We offer reference, information, and scanning services via in-person appointments and email/remote requests. If you would like to visit the Archives, please contact us at least 1-2 business days in advance to schedule an appointment to ensure availability of staff and resources. Due to the unique nature of archival materials, documents and records in the Archives cannot be loaned out.

How May We Help You?

  • Research assistance: contact the archivist for help with locating or viewing historical records
  • Scanning: we can provide scans or copies of archival materials for research or publication
  • Digitization: we will work with you to include historical materials in the Archives' digital collections in OpenSky
  • Transfers/donations: we will work with you to determine which records should be sent to the Archives, or help with a donation of materials
  • Websites: if you are taking down web content, we can preserve a copy in the web archives before you remove content
  • Oral histories: tell us your story about NCAR, or learn about NCAR history from the interview collections

Donating to the Archive 

We welcome donations that fall within our collecting scope.


Content Alert

NSF NCAR’s archives contain a rich collection of oral history interviews, original correspondence, and other papers from throughout our history. These documents and recordings can contain outdated, biased, offensive, or otherwise harmful language that may have once been considered acceptable but which is no longer consistent with our organization’s values. However, we believe that preserving these artifacts and continuing to make them available is important to maintaining a deep and nuanced understanding of our history, which includes bias and unequal access to the Earth system science community along with our many successes and accomplishments.


For more information on using the NSF NCAR Archives:

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact the Archivist