Information for Donors
The University Archives actively curates a research collection to serve the information needs of university itself, the local community, and researchers. It also strives to be a good steward of the materials in its care by allocating available resources to provide for processing, preservation, and access.
Collection Management Policy
To focus the scope of the collection and use resources effectively, potential acquisitions must be appraised. The appraisal process will determine if materials meet specific criteria in order to be accepted and accessioned into the archives. The Collection Management Policy helps to ensure effective and consistent decision-making by outlining a methodology for the selection and appraisal of materials for the University Archives.
Individuals who are interested in donating materials are invited to contact the University Archives. View our Location and Hours page for more information about how to find us on campus, or Ask An Archivist about making a potential donation.
Once materials are accessioned into the University Archives, archivists begin the process of making the materials accessible. After determining a logical arrangement, archivists will describe the materials, add historical context and background information, and create a document called a "finding aid" that helps researcher know what kind of materials are held within the accession. University Archives finding aids are posted in Digital Collections and will be added to the Research Collections section on this site.
Information from the finding aid is then migrated into library catalog records so that researchers can more easily discover the archival materials as they search the catalog for information about a specific topic. Records are also added to OCLC WorldCat, a global library catalog so researchers around the world can find materials held in the University Archives.
Preservation and Use
Archivists work to balance our priorities of promoting use of archival materials with the obligation to ensure their long-term preservation. One way to achieve this balance is to digitize select materials and make them openly available online. Fragile and frequently-used materials benefit the most, as the originals can be preserved while the digital versions can be used and enjoyed. Digitization is not automatic; decisions about prioritizing the digitization of materials are made by the archivists in consultation with Digital and Web Services and projects are generally scheduled a year in advance.
The vast majority of original materials will eventually be stored in the Archives and Research Center (ARC), the Library's new state-of-the-art facility designed to preserve and protect valuable collections in a climate-controlled environment.
Use of Original Archival Materials
While digital copies are often preferred by researchers, the majority of original archival materials are also available for research. Requests for original materials should be made at least 48 hours in advance to allow time for the materials to slowly warm up to room temperature prior to use.