An archival repository was established for the UAB Medical Center in 1990. Later, in November of 1992, it was given a university-wide mandate and was renamed the UAB Archives.  It is currently one of three components of UAB Historical Collections, an administrative unit within the Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences.

The function of the UAB Archives is the appraisal, collection, organization, description and reference use of UAB's official records of enduring historical value. The UAB Archives is the repository of the institution's memory and seeks to advance knowledge concerning the origins, mission, and programs of UAB and their historical development. The Archives also seeks to encourage efficient records management, which ensures UAB records of enduring historical value will be identified for inclusion in the Archives. Additionally, personal papers and corporate collections, those materials which are not university records, are also collected by the UAB Archives in an attempt to document UAB's role in the city, the state, and in the health sciences environment.