About our archives

The scope of our archives

Our archives preserve Rotary's legacy through material that accurately and effectively documents our history. Located at Rotary's world headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA, our collections chronicle official decisions, reveal insights into the people who shaped Rotary and its programs, and shed light on key milestones and everyday events that built Rotary into one of the world's largest humanitarian service organizations.

What we collect

Our collections range from administrative records of the Rotary International Board of Directors and The Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees to publications produced by Rotary throughout its history. We also have books written by Rotary founder Paul Harris and other Rotarians; correspondence of important figures in Rotary history; photos, videos, and sound recordings of projects and events; convention proceedings; and many other items. The Heritage Communications team is dedicated to preserving our history, continually building the archives with new materials as history is being made.


We rely on you to help tell Rotary's story. If you would like to donate a piece of Rotary history, please email us at history@rotary.org. We'll work with you to decide if what you have belongs in Rotary's archives.

What we can do for you

Heritage Communications staff is available to help you with your research and to answer questions about Rotary history. Rotary's archives are also open to Rotary members and the public, by appointment only, Monday through Friday, 10:00-16:00. Please contact us at least three weeks in advance to request an appointment.

Common questions

Find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on how we can help you connect to Rotary history.

View our FAQs