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Library Policies

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Purpose, Mission, & Collection Scope

The main purpose of the University Archives and Special Collections (UASC) is to preserve the history of the university’s development and to serve as a repository for communal studies and the tri-state area comprised of Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. The department is dedicated to the preservation and organization of materials for the purpose of research.

Reviewed: June 2019
Responsible Unit: UASC

The UASC supports the David L. Rice Library mission and is committed to acquiring and preserving material about the development and operations of the university. UASC has a secondary mission to preserve regional cultural history, focusing on the southwestern region of Indiana.

Reviewed: June 2019
Responsible Unit: UASC

The UASC accepts materials relating to the history and development of the University of Southern Indiana in alignment with approved retention schedules.

The UASC will evaluate personal collections for possible acceptance if the materials are related to regional history and have historical importance due to content or persons. This may include but is not limited to personal papers, private library collections, photographs, oral histories with proper documentation, family or business history from the region. Rare books, general items of local interest, or items deemed to have educational value supporting either Rice Library or the university's mission may also be considered for addition to the collection.

Reviewed: June 2019
Responsible Unit: UASC

Acquisitions

The UASC will accept materials after only a review by the UASC Collections Committee

A responsible level of collecting should be maintained by staying within the constraints of available storage space, ability to process material within a reasonable amount of time, and ability to provide for the care, preservation of, and access to the material. In addition, consideration must be given to the best placement of materials. Dispersal or fragmentation of a research collection is inconvenient to researchers and does nothing to enhance the reputation of the institution. UASC will avoid acquiring material known to be primarily collected by another institution, unless there is a strong connection with an existing collection that is already owned or some other compelling reason to accept the material. Donors will be directed to appropriate repositories if their material are not viewed as relevant to our collections.

Reviewed: June 2019
Responsible Unit: UASC

The UASC Collections Committee will be chaired by the University Archivist. Members will be the UASC Library Associate, UASC Senior Library Assistant, the Head of Research and Instruction at Rice Library, and a designated faculty member from the USI history department. The Director of Library Services, Director of the USI Art Collection, and Willard Library Archivist will serve as Ex-officio members of the committee. 

Reviewed: June 2019
Responsible Unit: UASC

The UASC at the University of Southern Indiana preserves significant records documenting the history of the university. Due to the growing size of the university and the large amount of paperwork generated by the various departments, units, and programs, the UASC has established guidelines for the types of materials accepted. For more details on retention schedules for university materials, see unit policies at: https://usi.libguides.com/uasc/university

Reviewed: June 2019
Responsible Unit: UASC

The UASC will accept regional materials related to the growth and development of the tri-state area comprised of Southwestern Indiana, Southeastern Illinois, and Northwestern Kentucky. This could include but is not limited to:

  • Personal collections with letters, diaries, or other primary source materials covering historically important residents of the region
  • Artifacts from local businesses, organizations, or families
  • Photographic collections that reflect changes in the community, such as homes, buildings, parks, or other identifiable landmarks
  • Local business collections
    • May include an administrative fee for processing, supplies, and maintenance of collections
  • Local organizations
    • May include an administrative fee for processing, supplies, and maintenance of collections 

Reviewed: June 2019
Responsible Unit: UASC

  • Special Collections will consider materials from outside the regional area if they are significant to the mission of the UASC, David L. Rice Library or the university.
  • Special Collections will consider adding rare books to the UASC reading room collection on a case-by-case basis.

Reviewed: June 2019
Responsible Unit: UASC

Regional collections from businesses, organizations, or large family collections may be assessed a onetime administrative fee to offset processing costs. This fee does not include digitization of materials in the collections. The fee will be assessed by the University Archivist and approved by the Collection Committee. 

Reviewed: June 2019
Responsible Unit: UASC

Gifts & Bequests

In the event of a gift, the University Archivist will discern if the potential items align with the collection development policy and will either proceed with presenting them to the UASC Collections Committee or declining the items. The UASC Collections Committee will determine the historical value of the materials and if they should be accepted into the UASC collections.

Reviewed: June 2019
Responsible Unit: UASC

Purchases

When the opportunity to purchase historical collections or materials arises, the collection or materials in question will be presented to the UASC Collections Committee for discussion and a vote as to whether to complete the sale or not.

Reviewed: June 2019
Responsible Unit: UASC

Loans

Loans are temporary physical transfers of collections or items from one institution or individual to another, where there is no transfer of ownership. Materials loaned to the university for exhibit or educational purposes shall receive the same care and protection as is accorded objects in the UASC collection. A Loan Agreement form will be completed for items loaned to the university.

The UASC Collections Committee shall decide whether to approve requests for loans of objects from the UASC Collections, consistent with University regulations and applicable legal restrictions. Objects may be loaned by the University only under the following conditions:

  • The borrower must be a qualified institution or individual, as determined by the Committee.
  • Borrowing must be for research, education, exhibitions, or other purposes consistent with the mission statement of the UASC.
  • Materials may be borrowed for a period of one year or less, unless approved by the Committee.
  • Borrowers may not alter objects in any way, except by prior written agreement. If damage occurs during the loan period and further handling jeopardizes the materials, repairs may be authorized by the Committee and an immediate return of the object may be required.
  • No materials will be loaned under circumstances posing an unreasonable risk to the safety of the objects.
  • Borrowers will pay loan fees, if any, imposed by the university and any packing, shipping, and courier expenses for transporting the materials to and from the university, unless waived in writing with the Committee’s approval.

Reviewed: June 2019
Responsible Unit: UASC

Deaccessions

University Archives and Special Collections reserves the right to deaccession any materials from the repository. Formal removal of holdings may be initiated for any one or more of the following reasons:

  • The material in question falls beyond the collecting scope of the repository
  • The material in question duplicates information already available in Special Collections and Archives
  • The material in question duplicates information available at another library or archival repository
  • The material in question is damaged or deteriorated beyond the point of repair or usability
  • Materials are defined as deaccessioned when they are removed formally and permanently from the UASC unit when there is a legal transfer of ownership, or a permanent disposal
  • The deaccession of materials in manuscript and archival collections is governed by different principles from those for general research collections. Because of the primacy of preserving archival materials in their original format and the role of special collections and archives as repositories for cultural history, UASC carefully assesses all materials before accepting them to lessen the likelihood of deaccessioning. Valid reasons remain, however, for deaccessioning materials held in UASC.

Considerations

Deaccessioning of collections or item that no longer fit the scope and/or content of the archival collection will be removed and either disposed of or donated to more appropriate repositories according to the following:

Donor’s desires from the Instrument of Donation (IOD): All donated records to UASC are accompanied by an Instrument of Donation (IOD) that allows the donor to, in the event their donation no longer fits the scope and/or content of the collection, choose how their records will be removed from the Archive. Their wishes, if specifically indicated at time of donation, will be carried out by the UASC staff. If, however, the IOD does not indicate a specific method of permanent removal, the UASC staff will dispose of the records in a manner appropriate to the record and its overall value.

In the absence of an explicit disposition plan (as directed in an IOD), any records to be deaccessioned or that cannot be relocated to a more appropriate archive will be destroyed as follows:

  • All paper records: Will be shredded and recycled, ensuring those records are never used again.
  • Non-paper records: Will be disposed of properly, complying with university, state, and federal guidelines for safe and environmentally-friendly dispatch.

Routine materials such as duplicate or damaged material: withdrawal must be approved by the University Archivist.

Deaccessioning forms are completed on all materials removed from the collections. Removal or transfer of entire collections or by decreasing a collection by half or more requires approval by the UASC Collections Committee.

Reviewed: June 2019
Responsible Unit: UASC