Since its beginning the Historic Archive of the University has been tightly bonded with the University as a whole and has played an essential role in all fields of education in Galicia.
It contains documents that are older than the Archive itself and includes documents created by the very founders of the University.
Since its founding news of the archive can be found in constitutions statutes and visitors' books. Among these we should point out the visit made by D. Alonso Muñoz de Otalora in 1600.
In the 15th century the Archive came under the authority of the Secretary of the university, taking responsibility for documents from the University cloister and the rector, disposing its dual function of management and education. In that century the Colleges of Fonseca and San Xerome began to function and went on until the 19th century.
The 19th century also saw the archives becoming more involved in care taking documents for outside the university of an academic nature including those from the Primary and Secondary Schools as well as specialised schools and teacher training schools. It will be at the beginning of the 20th century and in the 1940s when it began its involvement in documentation related the city of Santiago and its surrounding.
This increased activity included censuses, deposits, donations and acquisitions made by the university itself, including documents from the Santiago civil government monasteries and nunneries, fraternities, and other religious institutions affected by the changing laws of the 20 th century. During this period documentation from historical mortgage records and the Royal Hospital were also included in the archives.
The protocols of the Santiago Notarial District were included in 1969 and in 1993 those of Arzua, Melide, Corcubión, Muros, Negreira, Noia ,Ordes and Padrón.
Documentation from the Santiago City Council was incorporated beginning in 1994 along with business, family and society archives.
Archives that began in the College of Fonseca were given to the Compañía College in 1769 when the University took possession of said college.
In the 1980s the archive achieved its highest level of institutional support. In 1990 it was moved from its old home on the third floor of the History and Geography building to its current home in a restored independent building.
Today it is a dynamic growing institution which is developing a data base system along with the use of internet.