IU Libraries Mission Statement

The Indiana University Libraries comprise one of the leading academic research library systems in North America, providing strong collections, quality service and instructional programs, and leadership in the application of information technologies. Our mission is to support and strengthen teaching, learning, and research by providing the collections, services, and environments that lead to intellectual discovery for all audiences. 

General Statement of Purpose

The mission of the IU Libraries University Archives is to manage information resources created by or about the University in support of administration, teaching, research, and service. To this end, the University Archives: 

  • Provides information services which support University administrators in the performance of their duties;
  • Supports research and teaching by making available and encouraging the use of its collections by the IU community and the public;
  • Promotes knowledge and understanding of the history, programs, and people of Indiana University;
  • Works with campus partners to develop and implement a records management strategy for IU Bloomington offices, schools, and departments and for IU Bloomington offices that have system-wide responsibilities.

Collecting Focus: Guidelines Governing Selection

The University Archives collects records relating to the history and culture of Indiana University that have long-term, indefinite administrative, legal, fiscal or historical value. The majority of these records are created or collected by IUB administrative units and academic departments in their work of administering and managing the University and campus. Another key source of records collected by the Archives are the records generated by faculty, student and alumni organizations. Finally, the Archives collects on a selective basis the personal papers of IU faculty, staff, and alumni as well as materials that document IU’s relationship with Bloomington and Monroe County.  

Categories of Record Creators

Indiana University administrative units and academic departments: The University Archives collects comprehensively and broadly in this area with the goal of documenting the creation, development, priorities and activities of every IU administrative unit and academic school, department or research center.  

IU-affiliated organizations: This category includes faculty and staff bodies, student organizations, alumni groups and IU support organizations.  The University Archives collects comprehensively and broadly in this area with the goal of documenting the creation, development, priorities and activities of these organizations.

IU faculty: The University Archives collects selectively in the area of faculty papers with the goal of documenting the faculty member as a member of the university community, as a researcher, teacher, and as a scholar interacting with professional colleagues both within and outside the university.  In determining whose papers to solicit, University Archives staff consider:

  • the scholarly, research contributions of the faculty member; faculty members who have achieved "Distinguished Rank" status at IU; other measurements include major awards; election to prestigious societies; and appointment to prestigious national or international advisory committees;
  • whether a faculty member's papers reflect upon and contribute to the understanding of a particular research strength of IU;
  • whether the materials support the research and teaching needs of the University;
  • whether the individual or the content of the papers fill gaps in the Archives collections, particularly in documenting the lives and work of underrepresented peoples and groups.

IU alumni: The University Archives collects selectively in the area of IU alumni papers with the goal of documenting the individual’s student experience with an emphasis on unique materials created and collected during their time at IU or their engagement with IU afterwards. In addition, the Archives considers: 

  • whether the papers reflect upon and contribute to the understanding of a particular research strength of IU;
  • whether the materials support the research and teaching needs of the University;
  • whether the individual or the content of the papers fill gaps in the Archives collections, particularly in documenting the lives and work of underrepresented peoples and groups.

Types of Records Collected

Administrative and departmental records 

Most records can be grouped into the following categories:

  • Governance and policy documents:  Constitutions and by-laws, minutes and proceedings, policies and procedures, reports;
  • Office or administrative files: Correspondence and memoranda (incoming and outgoing) and subject files concerning projects, activities and functions;
  • Biographical information: On IU administrators, faculty, staff, students and alumni;
  • University publications: Includes newsletters, journals, brochures, monographs, programs, posters, and announcements issued by all University offices, schools, and departments, as well by faculty, student and alumni organizations.
  • Audiovisual and photographic material: Of events and programs organized and sponsored by IUB units

Many record types have established retention and disposition schedules. Consult university records schedules or contact the Records Manager for guidance.

Faculty, staff, and alumni papers

Papers commonly transferred to the University Archives include, but are not limited to, the following materials:

  • Biographical material: Resumes, vitae, bibliographies, biographical and autobiographical sketches, chronologies, genealogies, and newspaper clippings;
  • Correspondence files, both professional and personal;
  • Diaries and journals;
  • Classroom material: Lecture notes, syllabi, course outlines, reading lists, and examinations,
  • Research files: Outlines, research designs, raw data, notes, analyses and reports of findings;
  • Drafts and manuscripts of articles, books, reviews and speeches;
  • Audiovisual material and photographs documenting personal and professional activities;

Materials not collected

  • The University Archives generally does not collect secondary or published materials that do not document Indiana University or its people. Donors seeking a home for reprints, pre-prints, or book collections may wish to consult with the appropriate IU Libraries subject specialist to find suitable homes for their reprint or book collections.
  • Research files consisting primarily of photocopies, whether they be of secondary sources OR copies of materials held by another archival repository.
  • While there may be exceptions, plaques or trophies tend to have very little research or long-term historical value and need not be transferred to the Archives.
  • Materials on “deposit.”
  • Materials to which access is restricted in perpetuity or for a period of time deemed by the University Archives staff to be beyond a reasonable limitation.

If the University Archives declines materials, staff will help donors identify an appropriate home. 

Deselection/Withdrawal

The relevance of materials in the University Archives can and will change over time. Periodic deselection may be done to identify items which no longer fit the collection criteria for inclusion, that have degraded or that cannot be properly stored, used, and preserved. If this occurs, University Archives staff will deaccession by one of the means below:

  • Return to the donor or donor’s heirs
  • Donate to another repository
  • Destroy

This addresses established collections and does not include the general weeding and appraisal of materials upon receipt or those materials deselected during processing.

Implementation and Revision Schedule

This policy has been reviewed by the Associate Dean for Collection Development and Archival Collections and is considered effective on the date indicated below. It will be reexamined regularly by the Director of the University Archives and revised as needed. 

Last revised: January 17, 2019 

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