What's the difference between an archive and a library?

A library holds published items intended to be used as separate sources of information (e.g. books, journal articles, electronic resources). University Libraries support the teaching mission of the institution. Patrons can check out most materials in a Library.

An archive holds collections of items or "records" that often have meaning only in the context of the larger collection (e.g. a letter from the University President has meaning only within the larger context of the function and operations of the Office as a whole). The primary mission of all University Archives is to identify, preserve and make available records (including electronic, paper, audiovisual, or other media) documenting the history of the institution. Some also accept collections that may or may not directly relate to the institution (often called "Special Collections."). Patrons must use archival materials in the archives, and some items may not be available for use.