Collections Policy

Archives and Special Collections

Ruth A. Haas Library

Western Connecticut State University

Collections Policy, June 2012

Introduction/Summary

The core mission of the of WCSU’s Archives and Special Collections department is:

  • To appraise, collect, organize, describe, make available, and preserve records of historical, legal, fiscal, and/or administrative value to Western Connecticut State University
  • To provide adequate facilities for the retention and preservation of such records
  • To provide information services that will assist members of the University community
  • To foster creative research and scholarship by providing access and encouraging the use of primary source materials by members of the University and the community at large
  • To support and promote the origins, aspirations, and programs of the University, and of the formulation of these aspirations, and programs
  • To promote descriptive standardization within the Archive, the University, the Connecticut State University System and the profession that will ensure continued access to and preservation of archival materials
  • To collect, organize, preserve, provide access to, and promote the use of its rare and unique materials in order to support and encourage the research needs and participation in academic programs of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and other scholars outside the academic community.

From its founding as the Danbury Normal  School to its present status as a member of the Connecticut State University System,Western Connecticut State University has shaped and has been shaped by the surrounding community.   It is the duality of this history that is essential to the mission of WCSU’s Archives and Special Collections.

The Archive is the final repository for the historical records of Western Connecticut State University and is a significant repository for collections related to local history.  The Archives includes WCSU administrative records, faculty papers, university publications, visual materials, and other media created by the University. It also includes non-WCSU affiliated personal papers, local government and organizational records, visual materials, maps, journals and other media that document the history of the Danbury community.   The archives’ holdings amount to approximately 850 linear feet.

The Special Collections Library’s holdings include: monographs, and audio-visual materials that pertain to the history of Connecticut and Danbury to supplement primary source materials in the Archives; a portion of the original monograph holdings of the Danbury Normal School’s library; monographs authored/created by WCSU faculty, students and alumni; rare/antique books and other objects donated to the Haas Library or Special Collections that are deemed to be 1) of significant artifactual value and 2) to be unique and essential to support the research needs of the University and the mission of the Archive; and library holdings of significant value to warrant special treatment. There are approximately 1900 cataloged titles currently held in the Special Collections Library that range in publication date from 1626 to the present.

Collection strengths include:

  • WestConn history
  • General Danbury History, 1900-1990
  • Town of Danbury Documents (1880s-1960s)
  • Connecticut History (Civil War to present)
  • Local oral histories
  • World War I era war literature and propaganda
  • 1970s-era clipart

 I. Mission statements specific to Archives and Special Collections

Archives

  • To appraise, collect, organize, preserve, and make accessible those records, publications and artifacts for the University community (administration, faculty, students, alumni, and benefactors) and serious researchers who seek to evaluate the impact of the University’s activities on the regions around it.  The University Archives include administrative records, faculty papers, university publications, audio-visual recordings, and photographs.
  • To appraise, collect, organize, preserve, and make accessible documentary history ofDanburyandFairfield County,Connecticut, through the acquisition of individual and family papers and the records of local government, community, business, and arts organizations.  The collection includes unpublished, unique manuscript collections, historical publications, maps, recordings, prints, posters, ephemera and photographs.

Special Collections

  • To collect, organize, preserve and make accessible recent monographs, journals, maps, and newspapers that pertain to the history ofConnecticutandDanburyto supplement primary source materials in the Archives.  Special Collections houses a range of demographical, genealogical, and sociological serials and monographs relating to local history
  • To preserve and make accessible original holdings of the Danbury Normal School’s library collection
  • To collect, organize, preserve and make accessible materials authored/created by WCSU faculty and alumni
  • To collect, organize, preserve, and make accessible rare books and ephemera donated to the Archive that are deemed to be 1) of significant artifactual value and 2) to be unique and essential to support the research needs of the University and the mission of the Archive
  • To collect, organize, preserve, and make accessible bibliographic materials of significant monetary value to warrant special treatment

II. Collection Policy

Archives 

I.  University Archives – Official Records, Papers, and Publications of Western Connecticut State University

Official records encompass the records or papers generated or received by the various administrative offices ofWesternConnecticutStateUniversityin the conduct of their business.  The University Archives, while not formally designated the official repository for university-created records, does actively seek and encourage departmental transfers of records created or received in connection with the transaction of University business.  These records will include:

  • Minutes, memoranda, correspondence and reports of the CSUS Administration collected by WCSU administration.
  • Records of the Office of President, including correspondence, administrative subject files and reports
  • Correspondence, subject files, and reports of the Office of Academic Affairs
  • Correspondence, subject files and reports of the offices of central administration, including: External Affairs, Student Affairs, University Relations
  • Correspondence, subject files and reports of deans, directors and administrators of the schools, colleges, divisions, programs and institutes of the University
  • Minutes, memoranda and reports of all major academic and administrative commissions, councils and committees including the University Senate and its committees
  • Departmental records, including: minutes, reports, correspondence, and syllabi
  • Records of the Registrar, including timetables, class schedules, enrollment reports, graduation rosters and other reports issued on a regular basis
  • Alumni records, including minutes of the alumni associations
  • Reports of the Admissions Office
  • Records of student organizations
  • All publications, newsletters and booklets distributed in the name of Western Connecticut State University, including catalogs, special bulletins, yearbooks, student newspapers, University directories and faculty/staff rosters, faculty and administration newsletters and publications, alumni publications and ephemeral material
  • Photoprints, negatives, slides, audio and video film, tapes, and reels, oral history interviews, and optical and compact discs documenting the development of the University
  • Maps, prints and architectural drawings documenting the physical changes and development of the University
  • Artifacts relating to the history of Western Connecticut State University

NOTE: The official administrative records of WesternConnecticutState University (correspondence, reports and subject files) designated as archival should be inactive and no longer used in the current activities of the originating office. Records should be forwarded to the Archives according to schedule after consulting with the archivist for the orderly transfer of non-current materials. A computer readable inventory of the records transferred should accompany accessioned material. The originating office may place restrictions on access.

Records that may violate the right to privacy of student or personal as outlined in the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act and the Connecticut Records Retention/Disposition Schedule (Schedule S5 – Student Records Maintained by Connecticut State Institutions of Higher Education) will not be accepted by the University Archives.

II. Personal and Professional Papers of Western Connecticut State University Faculty

The University Archives seeks to acquire, organize and provide access to the personal and professional papers ofWesternConnecticutStateUniversityfaculty as a means of documenting the internal life and culture of the University community. Space and staff restraints in the University Archives requires limits to the volume of faculty papers that can be accessioned. In appraising and soliciting faculty papers the following criteria are suggested:

  • National or international reputation in a respective academic field
  • Record of service with Western Connecticut State University and contribution to its growth and development
  • Service on the faculty of a recognized area of excellence within Western Connecticut State University
  • Service and contribution in community, state and national affairs.

The University Archives seeks documentation of the careers of theWesternConnecticutStateUniversityfaculty in the following formats:

  • Correspondence: official, professional and personal.
  • Biographical material: resumes, bibliographies, biographical sketches, chronologies, genealogies, newspaper clippings, and personal memoirs
  • Photoprints and graphic materials
  • Audio and video recordings of lectures, speeches and discussions
  • Lecture notes and syllabi
  • Research files
  • Departmental or committee minutes and records
  • Drafts and manuscripts of articles and books
  • Diaries, notebooks, appointment calendars and memorabilia.
  • Ephemera deemed to be 1) of significant artifactual value and 2) to be unique and essential to support the research needs of the University

NOTE: The Archives recognizes the rights of faculty to impose reasonable restrictions on materials to protect privacy and confidentiality. Restrictions on access should be for a fixed term and determined at the time of donation. The Archives encourages minimal access restrictions consistent with the legal rights of all parties.

III. Family and Individual Papers, and Organizational and Institutional Records that document the history and life of the Danbury Area.  Areas of interest include:

  • Local history (primarily late nineteenth century and after)
  • Immigrant and minority history and organizations
  • The arts
  • Local organizational records
  • Historic records of local government agencies and officials
  • Material types of interest include: correspondence, photographs, audio and visual media,  maps, and architectural drawings

NOTE: The Archives recognizes the rights of private donors to impose reasonable restrictions on materials to protect privacy and confidentiality. Restrictions on access should be for a fixed term and determined at the time of donation. The Archives encourages minimal access restrictions consistent with the legal rights of all parties.

Special Collections

I.  Local History related published materials. These materials will include:

  • Connecticut and related genealogical materials
  • Current Connecticut State publications
  • Local history related materials in all formats

II.  WCSU Related Materials. These materials will include:

  • Monographs that are historic artifacts of the University
  • Faculty and alumni authored monographs
  • Printed materials donated by faculty and staff that are deemed to be 1) of significant artifactual value and 2) to be unique and essential to support the research needs of the University
  • Graduate theses

III.   Non-Circulating/rare or unique library holdings.  These materials will include:

  • Facimiles
  • Antique books considered to be of continued research value
  • Rare books
  • Microfilm of non-WCSU archival materials relating to local history.

 NOTE: Gifted books and materials designated as Special Collections must be non-circulating.  Materials should be forwarded to the Archives only after consulting with the archivist for orderly transfer. An inventory of the materials and an indication of the gifts’ source should be included so that the materials may be properly accessioned. The originating party may place restrictions on access.

III. Collection Acquisition Policy

Archives and Special Collections materials are acquired in the following ways:

Transfer of custody or Administrative Transfer.  Materials received by the Archive in a transfer are the property of Western Connecticut State University Haas Library.

Custodial transfer applies to public records in which legal custody transfers from one office to another.

Required documentation:

  • Letter of intent indicating the name of the person making the transfer, the date, department, and the WCSU Archives as the intended recipient.
  • Indicate any restrictions on the materials
  • Inventory of contents

Donation

Donations may be solicited or accepted from members of the University and outside community.

  • Archives and Special Collections will encourage donation only of materials that are in keeping with the subject scope of the collection development policy.
  • Donations that carry stringent donor restrictions may not be accepted.
  • Archives and Special Collections reserves the right to refuse a donation deemed to be of questionable provenance, authenticity and/or copyright.
  • Archives and Special Collections reserves the right to refuse donations of objects that exceed its facility’s space restrictions or that are of material types unsuited for storage in its facility.
  • Archives and Special Collections reserves the right to refuse any materials that have mildew, and mold or pest infestations.
  • Archives and Special Collections reserves the right to de-accession any or all parts of donation in adherence to the Deed of Gift Agreement.
  • For objects offered for donation but not accepted by Archives and Special Collections, the Archivist will make an effort to direct an interested donor to an appropriate repository.  (For local history collections: the Danbury Museum and Historical Society).
  • Archives and Special Collections discourages loans of materials.  If loaned materials are accepted, the owner must sign a memorandum of deposit indicating the period of the loan, outlining any restrictions and delineating liability.

Required documentation: All donations must be accompanied by a Deed of Gift agreement to be accessioned

  • a description/inventory of the materials
  • name, address and signature of donor
  • date of donation
  • description of any restrictions on the use of or access to the collections
  • the signature of the Archives and Special Collections representative accepting the donation.

Purchase

Purchase of manuscript and archival materials is normally not authorized by the University.  If a significant collection becomes available only through purchase, such an acquisition may be considered.  Potential donors should note that purchase of such materials tends to discourage donations by other potential donors.

Collection Appraisal

The responsibility of appraising the monetary value of donations remains with the donor.  By law, the Archivist and those employed by the Archives and Special Collections Library are not permitted to provide monetary appraisals.

The Archivist will not provide documentation for tax deductions that may be associated with a donation.  According to the Tax Reform Act of 1984, Section 155, deduction claims for a charitable contribution of property or properties to one or more charitable organizations, the total claimed value which exceeds $5,000, must include a written appraisal of the donated property from a qualified appraiser and be attached to IRS form 8283, signed by the donor, and enclosed with a tax return.