Records Management

>Collecting SCU's Archival Records

>What is an Archival Record?

>What the Archives Does

Collecting SCU's Archival Records

Santa Clara University Archives collects records which have continuing historical value. These records, no longer needed in the office for current administrative, financial or legal purposes, contain valuable information about SCU people, programs, the campus or events. They continue to be useful for historical reasons. These records should be kept permanently.

An "official record" of the University may be a document written on paper or created and maintained electronically. It may be a photograph, an audio or videotape, or a blueprint of a building. The crucial test is that the document was created by an employee of the University, in the course of his or her work for the University. These official records are the property of the University, and must be handled in accord with SCU policies and procedures.

In addition to official records of SCU, the University Archives collects publications of faculty members and may collect published materials related to existing archival collections.

At the discretion of the Archivist, the Archives may collect personal papers of faculty, staff, students or others which help to document the functions, development or physical characteristics of the Mission and University. This is particularly important in those subject areas or time periods in which the official records are deficient.

What is an Archival Record?

Certain categories of records created by University employees are considered archival, and should be transferred to the University Archives. These are ORIGINAL records, created in your office, not duplicates of circulated memos, reports, publications, correspondence from other offices. Among such records are:

  • Publications -- departmental, University, or student -- including brochures, newsletters, yearbooks videotapes, etc.

  • Annual reports, committee reports, task force reports.

  • Non-current minutes of departmental, council, task force and committee meetings

  • Inactive subject files, clippings, etc., relating to SCU events, curriculum, new/revised policies, programs, or facilities.

  • Any other documents (e.g., programs, pictures, databases, scrapbooks, reminiscences, letters, diaries) or personal papers that recall people, events, and the campus at SCU.

At times it is unclear whether certain groups of records should be considered archival. In general, the goal of saving certain records is to document the activities of your area of the University. Since you know best the key issues and programs, and what records your department creates, you are very important in 1) identifying, 2) preserving, and 3) transferring records.

What an Archive Does

  • Selects those records which most comprehensively document the teaching, research and public service functions;
  • Assists University staff in caring for records of long term value and in transferring those records to the Archives at the appropriate time;

  • Insures the preservation of archival records through appropriate environmental storage and, as required, by special action;

  • Makes archival records accessible by describing the collections, creating bibliographic records of the collections, and offering reference services;

  • Within the bounds of the University's Records Access Policy, makes archival records available for research