University Archives

Collection Development Policy Statement

I. Statement of Purpose

The University Archives is administered as part of the Special Collections division of the LSU Libraries. The primary mission of the LSU Libraries is to serve the teaching, research, and public service needs of the University and the scholarly community. The role of the University Archives in accomplishing this mission is to collect, preserve, and make available University records of enduring value that document LSU’s diverse and historically significant academic, scholarly, social, and cultural activities.

II. Types of Programs Supported by University Archives

A. Research

Materials are collected and made available to LSU faculty, staff, and students, state residents, independent researchers, and other visitors with interests in the areas of LSU history and the history and culture of Louisiana. In order to support broad based research activity and the institution’s self-knowledge, University Archives shall seek to provide comprehensive resources on the history of Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, the achievements of the University’s faculty and students, and LSU’s impact on its campuses and community.

B. Preservation and Security

Preservation of research materials is crucial to the ongoing operations of the University Archives. The collection is housed in Hill Memorial Library, which features a temperature and humidity controlled environment and fire detection and suppression systems. The University Archives is non-circulating and is maintained in closed stacks. Security measures include security personnel, and an alarm system that is monitored by the LSU Police Department.

C. Exhibitions

As part of the overall Special Collections program, materials from the University Archives are featured, as appropriate, in exhibitions mounted in Hill Memorial Library and in the Louisiana Digital Library. Special Collections will consider requests to loan unrestricted materials and reproductions for exhibition to other institutions when the policies and facilities of those institutions meet acceptable standards and proper credit is given to the LSU Libraries.

D. Outreach and Publications

Special Collections staff seek to further the use and development of the University Archives through an outreach program that increases public awareness of the nature and relevance of the collection. This program includes exhibitions, presentations by the curator/archivist, publications such as brochures, catalogs, press releases, blog posts and other announcements of new acquisitions to appropriate members of the University community.

E. Acquisitions

The University Archives acquires material through direct transfer from campus units.

F. Clientele Served by the Collections

The policy of Special Collections is to make material available to researchers on equal terms, subject to the appropriate care and handling of the materials by the researcher. Researchers include faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students, both from LSU and other academic institutions; independent researchers; and the general public. Individuals under age sixteen may use materials in Special Collections when accompanied by a parent or guardian. All researchers must produce proper identification (a photo ID such as a driver’s license, passport, other government issued ID or campus ID) and must register via the creation of an account in the Special Collections Request System.

IV. Priorities and Limitations of the Collection

A. Present Collections Strength

The University Archives’ collections cover all University-related subject areas. The strength of University Archives’ collections include the University’s administrative records, particularly the Board of Supervisors, Chancellors and Presidents, Offices of Academic and Student Affairs, and LSU Systems Office; LSU Extension programs and services; information about historical university buildings through Facilities Services records; University publications such as the Gumbo yearbook and LSU Reveille newspaper; and photographs of the University and campus life from 1862 to the present.

B. Present Collecting Level

University Archives covers the history of LSU through collecting the official records created by and on behalf of the University, its departments, centers, units, and organizations.

LSU Special Collections is committed to fostering the understanding of and respect for cultural differences necessary for an enlightened and educated citizenry. Special Collections staff build collections that mirror and support the diversity of the University and that reflect a variety of political, economic, religious, social, and sexual issues and experiences.

C. Present Identified Weaknesses

University Archives is weak in areas such as twenty-first century student groups and administrative units whose programs and services document the evolution of the modern campus. University Archives has identified gaps in certain areas such as athletics and facility planning. University Archives also acknowledges a lack of infrastructure and/or present practices for identifying and collecting born-digital University records. University Archives will actively collect these University records in an effort to more completely and inclusively document the history of LSU.

D. Desired Level of Collecting

As a resource for documenting and accessing LSU history, University Archives will continue to actively collect the archival records significant to the history of LSU.

E. Geographic Areas Collected

The central focus of the University Archives is on Louisiana State University’s Baton Rouge campus. Portions of the collections may document areas outside the campus as they relate to the activities of LSU faculty, staff, and alumni. Coverage of the state of Louisiana as a whole falls within the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collection (LLMVC) collections group in LSU Libraries Special Collections.

F.  Chronological Periods Collected

Selection will focus on materials from the 1850s to the present, coinciding with the life of the University.

G. Subject Areas Collected

University Archives includes the following types of materials: administrative records from LSU academic departments, administrative units, and student organizations; university publications; photographs, audio and video of the campus and university life.

H. Languages Collected

The collecting scope is not limited by language, although English is the primary language present in the collection.

I. Forms of Material Collected

University Archives is an integrated collection that acquires materials in all formats, including monographs, manuscripts, archives, maps, plans and drawings, photographs, pamphlets, audio-visual materials, microforms, prints, electronic records both digitized and born-digital, websites, newspapers, and selected memorabilia which compliments other formats in certain collections.

J. Exclusions

The following areas are not within the focus of University Archives:

  • Faculty papers and book collections
  • Routine University business records and non-permanent University records
  • Extra copies of Gumbo yearbooks and LSU Reveille newspapers
  • Student records, transcripts, and academic papers
  • Tiger spirit wear and memorabilia
  • Raw electronic big research data
  • Personnel files of LSU employees
  • Material unrelated to LSU
  • Materials already represented among the University Archives collections (duplicates)
  • Materials in poor condition and not repairable
  • Materials to which access is restricted in perpetuity or for a period of time deemed by the Special Collections staff to be beyond reasonable limitation

V. Cooperative Agreements Affecting the Collecting Policy

The resources of the University Archives are largely unique and rarely overlap with other archival repositories or consortia.

VI. Statement of Resource Sharing Policy

University Archives will consider requests to reproduce materials for inclusion in another repository, subject to specific limitations imposed by the terms of acquisition and subject to the routine duplication policy of Special Collections.

VII. Statement of Deaccessioning Policy

Materials that do not reflect the collecting area of University Archives may be transferred to a more appropriate collection within the LSU Libraries or deaccessioned, subject to the terms of acquisition, University regulations, and state and federal laws.

VIII. Procedures Affecting Collecting Policy and Its Expedition

A. Transfer

University Archives will not accept materials without a direct transfer form or other official acknowledgement of the transfer of custody from the campus unit to LSU Libraries.

B. Loans and Deposits

University Archives will not accept collections on loan or deposit. University Archives will retain ownership rights to all collections in its holdings.

C. Closed Collections

University Archives will not accept collections of materials that are closed to public access in perpetuity.

D. Deaccessioning

University Archives reserves the right to deaccession any materials within its collections, subject to the terms of acquisition and the notification of the campus unit if applicable.

E. Exhibitions

University Archives reserves the right to include unrestricted materials in exhibitions, in accordance with normally accepted archival principles and practices.

F. Revision of Policies

University Archives reserves the right to change the preceding policies without notification to transferring units.

IX. Procedures for Monitoring Development and Reviewing Collection Development Guidelines

This collecting policy is designed to meet the goals of the LSU Libraries, the Special Collections Division, and the University Archives. In order to determine the effectiveness of the collecting policy, the staff will regularly review the acquisitions, user records, and deaccessions. The policy will be re-evaluated and changed as needed to meet the goals of the LSU Libraries and Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College.