Last revised July 12, 2005
I. General Statement of Purpose
The mission of the IU Libraries University Archives is to manage information resources created by or written about the University in support of administration, teaching, research, and service. To this end, the University Archives assists the University in appraising and managing its records throughout their life cycle; collects, organizes, and preserves records of enduring value in all formats created by administrators, faculty, students and alumni; supports research and teaching by making available and encouraging the use of its collections by the IU community and the public; provides information services which support University administrators in performance of their duties; and promotes knowledge and understanding of the history, programs, and goals of Indiana University.
II. Collecting Focus: Guidelines Governing Selection
A. General Collecting Focus
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 the records collected by the Archives are generated by University administrative units and academic departments and document the process of administering and managing the University. Another prominent but less voluminous source of records collected by the University Archives are the records generated by faculty, student and alumni organizations. The Archives also collects records that are about the University and members of the IU community, even if the creator of these documents is not associated with IU. Finally, the University Archives collects on a selective basis the personal papers of prominent IU faculty and alumni.
B. Categories of Record Creators
Indiana University administrative units and academic departments: The University Archives collects comprehensively and broadly in this area. The goal is to document the creation, development, priorities and activities of every IU administrative unit and academic school, department or research center. The quantity of documentation, however, varies significantly depending on the importance, size and age of the particular unit that is being documented.
IU-affiliated organizations: This category includes faculty bodies, student organizations, alumni groups and IU support organizations. The collecting objectives are exactly the same for this area as for administrative units. The University Archives collects comprehensively and broadly in this area, but the quantity of documentation varies depending on the characteristics of the unit.
IU faculty with a distinguished or outstanding record in research and teaching: The goal is to document the faculty member as a researcher, as a teacher, and as a scholar interacting with professional colleagues. Unlike administrative papers, the Archives collects selectively in the area of faculty papers. In determining whose papers to solicit, Archives staff evaluate: 1) the scholarly, research contributions of the faculty member; faculty members who have achieved "Distinguished Rank" status at IU are obvious choices; other measurements include major awards; quality of publications; election to prestigious societies, such as the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and appointment to prestigious national or international advisory committees; 2) whether a faculty member's papers reflect upon and contribute to the understanding of a particular research strength of IU; and 3) whether the faculty member's papers might more appropriately be deposited in the Lilly Library because his/her papers are concentrated in a research area that is a special collecting focus of the Lilly.
IU alumni with a distinguished or outstanding record in research or service: As with faculty papers, the University Archives collects selectively in the area of IU alumni papers. In determining whose papers to solicit, University Archives staff apply the following criteria: 1) the overall contributions of the alumnus to his profession; alumni who have received major awards in their fields are obvious choices; 2) whether the papers reflect upon the history and culture of IU; for example, a noteworthy professional photographer who has created images of the IU campus and events over time; 3) whether the papers reflect upon and contribute to the understanding of a particular research strength of IU; and 4) whether the alumnus' papers might more appropriately be deposited in the Lilly Library because his/her papers are concentrated in a research area that is a special collecting focus of the Lilly.
C. Types of Records Collected
Administrative and departmental records
Includes records documenting the day-to-day activities of the University, but most documents can be grouped into the following categories:
Governance and policy documents: Constitutions and by-laws, minutes and proceedings, policies and procedures, reports;
Financial records: primarily summary statements;
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;
Architectural drawings: Includes various architectural renderings, including site plans; drawings of mechanical, structural and electrical systems, and "As-Builts."
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.
Digital files or electronic records: The University Archives takes custody of or assists offices in managing all the various record types listed above that are born digital or that have been reformatted into digital formats.
Photographic material: Includes prints, negatives, slides, and digital files. Subjects prominently featured include:
- People: Photos of individual faculty, staff, students, and alumni;
- Buildings and campus scenes: Photos of individual buildings and groups of buildings; the collection includes aerial shots and photos of the city of Bloomington; and
- Events and groups: Photos of groups of faculty, staff, students, and alumni participating in various activities including sports, commencement, departments, and organizations.
Audio, videotapes and films: Includes documentation primarily on University events, particularly athletic activities.
Faculty and alumni papers
Papers commonly transferred to the 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: Professional: outgoing and incoming letters relating to all facets of one's academic career, including correspondence with colleagues, publishers, professional organizations and students; personal: letters to and from friends, relatives and business associates;
Diaries, notebooks and appointment calendars;
Classroom material: Lecture notes, overheads, slides, syllabi, course outlines, reading lists, examinations, and student papers;
Research files: Outlines, research designs, raw data, notes, analyses and reports of findings;
Drafts and manuscripts of articles, books, reviews and speeches;
Published articles and monographs;
Audiovisual material: Tapes, videotapes and films documenting personal and professional activities;
Photographs: Prints, negatives, slides and digital images documenting personal and professional activities.
D. Chronological Period Documented: The University Archives collects records primarily from the founding of Indiana University in 1820 to the present.
III. Selection Process for Collecting the Records of Administrative and IU Affiliated Groups and the Papers of IU Faculty and Alumni
A. Records of Administrative and IU Affiliated Groups: Only five to ten percent of the documentation generated by the University has long-term, archival value and are eligible for transfer to the Archives. In determining which records possess this value, the archivist in conjunction with record creators, legal counsel, and auditors reviews and analyzes records to determine which record series have long-term administrative, legal, fiscal/tax or historical value. Eventually these decisions are codified into written form and are officially approved as Indiana University Retention and Disposal Schedules. These schedules then guide the archivist in the selection of material for inclusion in the archives.
B. Papers of IU Faculty and Alumni: As noted above, the University Archives collects selectively in this area. Numerous strategies are employed in identifying whose papers to solicit. The most common strategies include targeting IU faculty who have attained "Distinguished Rank" status or who have been recommended by their colleagues and peers, and IU alumni who have had distinguished careers in their chosen profession. The University Archives occasionally will accept unsolicited gifts from faculty and alumni. These gifts typically include records that document life and culture at Indiana University, such as publications, scrapbooks and photographs.
C. Selection of Records to be Stored in the Auxiliary Library Facility (ALF): Eighty to ninety percent of the total volume of the records in the Archives are stored in the ALF. The ten to twenty percent of the records that remain on-site at the University Archives is based primarily on use patterns and from the first-hand knowledge of the staff of which record series have been used most often by researchers over the past decade or more. High use record series that will remain on-site in the Archives include photographs, ready reference materials, and biographical files on IU faculty.