College Archives houses many collections in paper and digital formats. Some collection material is available online as digital exhibits or digital collections, though the bulk of collection holdings exist only in paper form, accessible through a scheduled research visit.

Material includes unique documents, manuscripts, historical items, architectural drawings, posters, theses and capstone papers, photographs, books, and periodicals with preservation and security concerns that require care in handling. College Archives also manages the MDID Teaching Image collection for use in Columbia College Chicago classes.