Association of Child Life Professionals Archives

The Archives Committee maintains a collection of documents, publications, photos, video footage and other materials related to the history of ACLP and the child life profession. Thanks to the generous support of Utica College, the ACLP Archives has been housed at the Frank E. Gannett Library in Utica, New York since 2001. The college was awarded the ACLP Spirit of Giving Award in 2009, in appreciation for the institution's ongoing support in preserving our history.

The Archives Committee is currently collecting clinical program and academic histories. Share significant milestones about your program, and contribute to the ongoing documentation of the history of the child life profession. 

Click Bulletin to read issue.
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This episode features a special interview with ACLP/Child Life Council's first president Jerriann Wilson and Alexis Plumb, members of the Archives Management Committee of ACLP. Jerriann and Alexis share the history of the archives and share some really wonderful examples of the treasures within.

Donations of Historical Documents

The Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) Archives welcomes donations of historical documents pertaining to the development of the child life profession and ACLP as an organization. Materials may include reference books, personal letters, work papers, program files, videos, or even health care play equipment.
The collection consists of mostly printed material in the form of articles, publications, conference materials, and professional journals. There are also scrapbooks, photographs, videotapes, a few audiotapes, and ephemera in the form of puppets. The materials in the ACLP Archives collection are useful in providing a historical perspective on the development and growth of the child life profession, from its earliest inception as a series of “play programs,” to the independent and fully recognized profession that it is today. 

Seeking Program History Info

Collecting Child Life Program Histories
As part of its ongoing mission to preserve the history and legacy of the child life profession, the Association of Child Life Professionals’ (ACLP) Archives Management Group is collecting clinical program and academic histories, and your story is needed! This is an opportunity to share significant milestones about your program from its very beginning, and contribute to the ongoing documentation of the history of the child life profession. Your story will provide valuable information for future generations to better understand historical trends and the growth of the profession.

To get started, download a Program History Template and enter the requested information. To get a better sense of what sort of information to include, please refer to the tips below. Submit the completed document to for inclusion in the ACLP Archives.  If you have any questions, please contact
Tips on Developing a Program History
a. Identify your staff historian.
b. Interview staff who have been with your institution for many years.
c. Search your institution’s archives library (if one exists).
d. Look for historical resources that have already been written.
e. Review the following sample histories as a guide.

How to Submit Materials to the ACLP Archives

  1. Please send a message to to connect to a member of ACLP staff and one of our Archives Committee Members to assist you in your donation.
  2. Be prepared with a list of items (journals, books, letters, brochures, etc) as this list will be a part of the submission process.
  3. Be sure to assess your items for its relevance and value to the archives, focusing on primary materials surrounding the history of the profession or the Association.
  4. Please identify/title pictures, documents, letters
  5. Check the Archives Finding Aid (link) for ideas on which materials are the best fit for archival or to check for replication of item(s).
  6.  You will be asked to submit the following Donation Form.
  7. Review your materials to see if sending a digital copy is possible. This may save you mailing costs and may make your donation more accessible to researchers.
  8. After speaking with a member of the Archives Committee, you may then be asked to mail in your donated materials. 
Thank you so much for helping to preserve the rich legacy of the child life profession and ACLP!

Accessing the ACLP Archives

If you are interested in learning more about the materials housed in the Archives, download and review the ACLP Archives Finding Aid for a list of all items currently catalogued in the library. To request access to a digital copy of one or more items from the Finding Aid, please follow these steps:
  1. Select the item(s) from the Finding Aid that you wish to review.
  2. Visit the Utica College Library Web page
  3. Choose the first option: Ask a UC Librarian your question.
  4. Fill out your contact information. State your question by typing in name of the collection (Child Life Council Archives), the folder, and the item in the folder you wish to review.
  5. A Utica College librarian will respond to your inquiry.
Please keep in mind that some items (such as DVDs) may not be available to send via email or postal service at this time. 

You may also choose to visit the Frank E. Gannett Library at Utica College in Utica, NY. To do so, please use the Ask a UC Librarian form to schedule your visit.

Video Tour of the Archives