The Kettering University Archives is located at Factory One in Flint. The focus at the archives is to preserve and provide access to the history of Kettering University, the automotive industry and Flint.
The Special Collections and University Archives was established in 1974, largely through the vision and research interests of Richard P. Scharchburg and members of the University’s Alumni Foundation. The nexus of the collection was the acquisition of the William C. “Billy” Durant Collection from Durant’s widow, and has grown into a collection in excess of 4,500 linear feet of documents (manuscripts and photographs, mainly), plus several hundred books and other “artifacts.”
The emphasis of the collection documents the early history of the automobile industry—not surprisingly, given the early history of the University itself. Because of this, however, the collection is also an excellent source for the history of Flint and the history of Kettering University itself; the three are inexorably intertwined.
The collection also documents the administrative, academic and social life of Kettering University. Beginning with the papers of Major Albert Sobey, the archives is the home of the records kept by his successors as well as many other offices of the University. The archives has also collected copies of The Reflector, the yearbook published by the student body, and other student organizations, as well—and the archives is always looking to add more of those kinds of records.
The Charles F. Kettering Collection is one of the largest collections in the archives and has been used by scholars worldwide. The archives’ digital photo collection now exceeds 100,000 images. A partial online catalog along with digitized photos can be found on the archives website.
The Humanities Art Center is located on the fourth floor of the Academic Building on campus. The gallery features world-class exhibits and collections that exemplify the craftsmanship of local and national artists. A variety of media are represented including paintings, photographs, sculpture and ceramics. The center also holds a permanent collection of over 500 pieces.