Collection Policies


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Collection management lecture for archives

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Collection Policies

  1. 1. COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT ARCHIVES AND MANUSCRIPTS LibSci 732, Section E6T2, Fall 2007 Instructor: Sharon A. Pullen, C.A., MSLIS, MA
  2. 2. Collection Development <ul><li>The function within an archives or other repository that establishes policies and procedures used to select materials that the repository will acquire, typically identifying the scope of creators, subjects, formats, and other characteristics that influence the selection process. </li></ul><ul><li>Notes </li></ul><ul><li>Collection development originated as a library term but has been commonly employed by archives, and to a lesser extent by museums, since the 1980s. When used to refer to the policy resulting from the function, some archives use the synonymous term acquisition policy or scope of collections statement. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Some definitions <ul><li>An official statement issued by an archives or manuscript repository identifying the kinds of materials it accepts and the conditions or terms that affect their acquisition. It serves as a basic document for the guidance of archival staff and organizations and persons interested in donating their records or papers. </li></ul>Acquisition Policy
  4. 4. Collection/Acquisitions Policies Guidelines and examples
  5. 5. Common issues concerning acquisition <ul><li>The acquisition policy must reflect the institution's legal authority and should outline the general role and mission of the archival institution </li></ul><ul><li>The policy should address the archives' responsibility for the records of its sponsoring body. </li></ul><ul><li>The role of archives in today's society is to ensure that information required for legal, fiscal, evidential, historic and other purposes is maintained. </li></ul>
  6. 6. More Common Issues <ul><li>May need to consider whether it will also acquire records of individuals or subject areas connected with the sponsoring body. </li></ul><ul><li>For institutions acquiring records beyond those of their sponsor it is essential that collecting fields be defined </li></ul><ul><li>These fields may be defined by a combination of the following: institutional or geographical boundaries; language; chronological units; cultural groups, professional or occupational disciplines or themes. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Considerations when Developing Policy <ul><li>Resources available for the care and processing of records </li></ul><ul><li>Policy must establish who has the authority to decide which records will be retained by the archives </li></ul><ul><li>Acceptable acquisition methods should be listed </li></ul><ul><li>Should give the institution the authority to dispose of those records which are no longer considered to have permanent value to the institution. </li></ul>
  8. 8. More considerations <ul><li>Staff responsibility in the acquisition process </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict of interest guidelines may be considered to avoid the appearance of staff acting on their own behalf </li></ul><ul><li>Policy should receive approval according to the institution's accepted procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Once approved, the acquisition policy should be used actively in promoting the development of the institution </li></ul><ul><li>Should be reviewed on a periodic basis </li></ul>
  9. 9. ELEMENTS OF AN ACQUISITION POLICY <ul><li>1. Statement outlining the legal authorization establishing the archival program </li></ul><ul><li>2. Statement outlining the general role and mission of the archives </li></ul><ul><li>3. Statement outlining acquisition responsibility for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>records of the sponsoring body </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>records related to the functions of the sponsoring body </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>records generated from other sources </li></ul></ul><ul><li>4. Definition of terms </li></ul>
  10. 10. 5. Scope of acquisitions <ul><li>authority of other institutions </li></ul><ul><li>archival media to be acquired </li></ul><ul><li>resources </li></ul><ul><li>areas of specialization </li></ul>
  11. 11. 6. Methods of acquisition <ul><li>records disposal schedules </li></ul><ul><li>gift, purchase, loan, deposit </li></ul><ul><li>issuing of tax receipts </li></ul><ul><li>procedure for deaccessioning </li></ul>
  12. 12. 7. Roles and responsibilities <ul><li>final authority for acquisition decisions </li></ul><ul><li>acquisitions committee </li></ul><ul><li>documents committee </li></ul><ul><li>staff </li></ul><ul><li>Board of Directors/Trustees </li></ul>
  13. 13. Finally . . . <ul><li>8. Conflict of interest guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>9. Distribution/Availability of policy </li></ul><ul><li>10. Approval of policy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>approved by governing authority </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>date of approval </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. EXAMPLE No. 1 <ul><li>Statement of Purpose </li></ul><ul><li>The mission of the Georgia Historical Society (GHS) is to collect, preserve, and share the history of the State of Georgia . Among the most significant ways in which the Society fulfills this mission is by collecting, receiving, preserving, and providing access to primary and secondary sources in accordance with the mission statement of GHS; maintaining an archives building for the preservation of its collection; and by creating and maintaining a research facility for the use of its members and the general public. </li></ul>The Georgia Historical Society Library and Archives Division Collection Development Policy
  15. 15. Georgia Historical Society (cont’d.) <ul><li>Materials Collected </li></ul><ul><li>Acceptance of materials is limited to those collections that have a primary emphasis on Georgia and/or Georgians. However, this does not preclude the acquisition of materials dealing with the original thirteen colonies or the Southeast in general, especially if those materials describe conditions or events influencing Georgia and its development. Additional areas of collecting - particularly of genealogical sources - include materials that reflect the migration of individuals from other areas of the country to Georgia ; specifically the states of Virginia , Maryland , South Carolina , North Carolina , and New England . </li></ul>
  16. 16. GHS (cont’d.) <ul><li>Acquisitions </li></ul><ul><li>GHS actively seeks primary and secondary sources which will enhance the present collection and strengthen collection weaknesses. These acquisitions are made through either donation, deposit, or purchase and are approved by the Executive Director and/or the Deputy Director of GHS in accordance with the purchasing and deposit policies. Acquisitions will also be based on GHS’s ability to properly care for the items. </li></ul><ul><li>Except in special circumstances, GHS will refrain from collecting photocopies of material held by other repositories and individuals. GHS will not accept collections which are closed to public access in perpetuity. Although GHS prefers not to collect materials with access restrictions, collections that can be opened upon the donor’s death or within a reasonable period of time (not to exceed 25 years) will be considered. </li></ul><ul><li>In the event that GHS determines previously accessioned materials are unsuitable for its collections, those materials will be deaccessioned in accordance with the Deaccession Policy. </li></ul>
  17. 17. GHS (cont’d.) <ul><li>Cooperative Collecting </li></ul><ul><li>GHS recognizes that other institutions collect in the same or overlapping areas and that in some cases there may be a more appropriate repository for materials offered to GHS. In the spirit of cooperation, opportunities to acquire such materials, as well as those not covered by the Collection Development Policy of GHS, will be referred to an appropriate repository. In the event that the legitimate collecting interests of GHS and another repository directly conflict, GHS will consider the best interests of the materials and the research community in pursuing an amiable resolution. </li></ul><ul><li>Adopted January 1998; Revised March 2006 </li></ul>
  18. 18. EXAMPLE No. 2 <ul><li>Wisconsin Historical Society Archives </li></ul><ul><li>Archives Collection Development </li></ul><ul><li>The Collections Development Section is responsible for the acquisition of manuscript collections. The Society focuses its current manuscript collecting activity on records documenting Wisconsin and three national topics: social action, mass communications, and organized labor. For more information on each of these collecting areas see below. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Wisconsin Historical Society Archives (continued) <ul><li>Wisconsin Collecting </li></ul><ul><li>The Society Archives is interested in acquiring private manuscript papers and organizational records that document the history of Wisconsin from the seventeenth century to the present, (in addition to state and local government records). We seek Wisconsin textual and audio-visual collections encompassing many subject areas including agriculture, the arts, business and industry, mass communications, labor, social action, the military, natural resources, politics and government, ethnic groups, and transportation. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Wisconsin Historical Society Archives (continued) <ul><li>Mass Communications </li></ul><ul><li>The Archives actively solicits new collections on citizen reaction to the media; activist citizen groups involved in issues such as censorship and regulation, public access, quality programming, media education, and media ethics; nationally known journalists who were active during the mid-twentieth century; direct response advertising; national advertising and public relations leaders; and Wisconsin's largest advertising and public relations agencies. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Wisconsin Historical Society Archives (continued) <ul><li>Social Action Collecting </li></ul><ul><li>The Archives is particularly interested in new collections documenting the reproductive rights/right to life movements, and peace activism, particularly related to American policy toward Central America. The Division continues to collect materials on the Civil Rights movement and the protest movements against the Vietnam War. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Wisconsin Historical Society Archives (continued) <ul><li>Labor Collecting </li></ul><ul><li>The Society Archives has been collecting records of organized labor since the early twentieth century. Current collecting focuses on Wisconsin labor organizations, two national unions --the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and the Textile Workers Union, and both the Socialist Workers Party and the Socialist Labor Party. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Wisconsin Historical Society Archives (continued) <ul><li>For More Information, Contact: </li></ul><ul><li>Jonathan Nelson Wisconsin Historical Society Archives 816 State Street Madison WI 53706 (608) 264-6447 </li></ul>
  24. 24. Permanent Records General Overview
  25. 25. Permanent records of lasting value <ul><li>General Files </li></ul><ul><li>Board Files </li></ul><ul><li>Special Files </li></ul>General Classes
  26. 26. General Files <ul><li>Operating documents such as the Charter, Constitution and Bylaws, or Incorporation certificate </li></ul><ul><li>Minutes of business meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Procedures Manuals </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational histories such as anniversary publications </li></ul><ul><li>Awards, Memorials and Citations with accompanying documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Photographs, audio or video cassettes, films </li></ul><ul><li>Publicity such as clippings or articles about the organization or its membership </li></ul><ul><li>Obituaries of past or present officers, directors, etc. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Board Files <ul><li>Rosters of trustees, officers, committee chairs, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Minutes of board meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Officer's files (arranged by year) including annual and special reports, important correspondence, budget and income/expense reports </li></ul><ul><li>Committee files (arranged alphabetically by committee, and by year) </li></ul>
  28. 28. Special Files <ul><li>Projects such as workshops or conferences, jointly sponsored activities, community service projects, championships or honors </li></ul><ul><li>Building or property records such as deeds, surveys, architectural drawings, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Publications such as bulletins, newsletters, membership directories, etc. (keep 2-5 copies of each) </li></ul><ul><li>Reports or important correspondence of liaisons with other organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Memorabilia such as awards, t-shirts, products used for fund raising, anniversary celebrations, etc. </li></ul>