Archives: Guidelines for Faculty Donors

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1. Trent University Archives maintains the records not only of the University itself, but also papers of private individuals, faculty members, local organizations and businesses. Once papers are donated to the Archives, the material is organized in series, arranged coherently, weeded and stripped of all records deemed not to be archival, filed in acid-free folders and shelved in acid-free records storage boxes. Detailed "finding aids" prepared according to professional archival standards and complete with a biographical introduction are written. These guides are then mounted on our website. Weeks, and sometimes months of work are required to properly process a collection.

2. When sorting and selecting papers to be forwarded to the Archives, keep in mind the sorts of questions that researchers, historians, social scientists and biographers are apt to ask in the years ahead if they access your papers. They may want to know about your life, the approach which you took to your own research, the ways in which your life and career reflected the functioning of a scholar in a university at a specific time and place, and your location as an individual within a variety of communities.

3. The most important sources of information tend to be the following: day books, diaries, journals, correspondence. That is, anything which reflects you personally and your relationships to family, friends, colleagues, the university environment and the larger world in which your research interests are located.

4. Other material which may be valuable: one draft copy of a published work (but not galley proofs or multiple drafts); research notes on cards or in files which indicate the approach which you take to a research project; evidence of your involvement with professional associations, granting agencies, publishers, conference organizers; evidence of your teaching and committee work within Trent University.

5. We cannot accept, and will either return, shred, recycle or otherwise dispose of the following:

  • material which arrives unannounced and unsolicited; materials are acquired by the archives only after appraisal and prior arrangement
  • published material, reports, government documents, offprints
  • multiple copies of any documents
  • personal records of students such as grade sheets, advisee files;
  • personal records of colleagues such as c.v.s of job candidates, or letters of recommendation
  • photocopied research files, documents, or materials of any kind which came from another archival institution as we do not hold copyright on any such materials, nor would we devote expensive space to materials which may be found in the original elsewhere
  • copies of other people’s works, articles, essays for which we do not hold copyright

6. Donation procedures include the signing of an Archives donor form. This form states that you are assigning legal ownership and, usually, other intellectual property rights for your papers to Trent University Archives. The form allows for the stipulation of any access or use restrictions which you may wish to place on your papers. 7. We are able to offer a tax receipt for any donations "in kind." An in-house appraisal for amounts up to $1,000.00 are legally permissible. If you feel your papers have a greater fiscal value, an arm’s length appraisal is required and payment for this appraisal service by a professional external to the university will be discussed before you make a donation. In either case, the papers cannot be appraised until they have been arranged and processed. While we do not normally labour under a lengthy backlog of unaccessioned records, there may well be at least a year between donation and appraisal and final processing.