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University Archives Aquisition Policy

The Robert D. Farber University Archives acquires records and publications of enduring historical, legal, fiscal, administrative, and research value to the Brandeis University community. Records that reflect the University's functions in the areas of administration, teaching, research, program development, public relations, student support, and cultural enrichment are actively collected, as are those documenting the activities and achievements of faculty, staff, students and alumni. Recorded data in all formats is deemed to have permanent value if it documents core components of university policy, strategic planning, curriculum, research, organizational structure, programming, campus life and culture, and the built environment.

The Archives does not accept records documenting routine or perfunctory activities (e.g., purchase orders, acknowledgements of receipt), nor does it acquire records containing confidential student information protected by federal law. Few secondary source materials are accepted into the collection; exceptions include alumni publications and selected items that are richly annotated or inscribed.The Archives reserves the right to reject, deaccession or dispose of materials that: 1) do not fit its acquisition policy; 2) already exist within the collection; 3) may be more appropriately housed in another repository; 4) are inaccessible to the public due to copyright or other restrictions; or 5) are too expensive to process, preserve and store given available resources.

Alumni Publications

The University Archives is the official repository for donated alumni publications such as university-sponsored periodicals and newsletters. The Archives also houses monographs and anthologies by alumni that contain ISBNs. Self-published materials, including websites, are not retained by the Archives, nor are journal articles, indexes or directories produced by alumni. Visual and moving image materials, of which alumni are the main creators, are accepted into the collection. The Archives supports the University's Office of Alumni Relations by loaning its alumni publications for display at annual alumni reunions.

Faculty Papers

The University Archivist may acquire, or accept for donation, selected papers of current and former tenured faculty members. The decision to accept faculty papers into the Archives collection shall be guided by the following criteria:

  • The faculty member's reputation and output as a scholar;
  • The faculty member's involvement in departmental and/or university affairs;
  • The extent to which the faculty member's papers enhance the documentation of existing university history;
  • Patron demand for the faculty member's papers;
  • The faculty member's involvement in organizations and institutions related to his/her academic discipline(s);
  • The faculty member's willingness to provide unrestricted access to his/her papers for research use;
  • The availability of in-house resources for properly storing, arranging, and describing the papers.

Under special circumstances, the University Archivist may acquire, or accept for donation, the papers of non-tenured faculty who are highly distinguished in their fields, or are renowned or influential public figures. Faculty members, or their designated donors, have the right to impose reasonable restrictions on their papers to protect confidentiality. These restrictions, agreed upon in consultation with the University Archivist, must be documented in a formal gift, deposit, or transfer agreement. The University Archivist may reject agreements that restrict access to materials in perpetuity, or do not specify a future date for lifting restrictions on materials.

Faculty Publications

Due to severe limitations in storage capacity, the University Archivist does not acquire or accept donations of faculty publications. In contrast to alumni publications, most faculty publications are available in the university's libraries and in local university and college libraries.