UC Faculty Papers: Identification and Appraisal

Appendix II.

The following guidelines describe the mission of the institutional archives on the University of California (UC) campuses to document the lives of selected faculty members and the considerations that enter into the selection process. They are intended for use by UC archivists, library staff, and other administrators. They are developed and revised by the UC Archivists Council, and reviewed by the UC Heads of Special Collections and the Collections Development Committee (CDC). The guidelines are to be used in tandem with the Policies for Administration of University of California Archives.

1. Introduction:

University of California archives are intended to support UC’s commitment to instruction, research, and public service as stated in the Master Plan for Higher Education in California (1960) and in A Review of the University of California, a multi-campus System in the 1980s (1979).UC archivists are responsible for the collection, preservation, management and use of inactive UC records of enduring value generated at the campus and systemwide levels.

Faculty papers contain significant information on teaching, research, and professional and administrative activities, areas through which researchers can gain a valuable perspective on the intellectual vitality of the university community. They can be rich resources of university history, in addition to documenting the careers of individuals. Each UC campus collects faculty papers selectively and administers them either as university archives or as manuscript collections. Ideally, faculty paper collections should be housed at a single repository.

2. Collection Objectives:

By collecting faculty papers, the University Archives strives to document the role, functions, and activities of representative faculty members:

  • within the context of each campus
  • within the context of UC history
  • with respect to current and anticipated national/international research
  • with respect to service to community, state, national and/or international organizations
  • with respect to underrepresented communities and subject areas

3. Materials Collected

The types of materials collected, in any format, include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • correspondence
  • social media communications
  • grant proposals and reports
  • drafts of significant publications
  • administrative records of department chairs, and institute and center directors
  • records of committees that the faculty member chaired
  • policy documents
  • speeches and lectures
  • course syllabi
  • pictorial images, including photographs, slides, illustrations
  • audiovisual recordings
  • research notes and data
  • biographical materials
  • oral histories

Materials Generally Not Collected

In general, University Archives do not collect the following:

  • student records
  • patient files
  • reprints and pre-prints
  • equipment and software instructions
  • duplicative or redundant material
  • artifacts, objects, plaques
  • peer-review files for journals and publications
  • federal records that fall under the purview of the US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

A campus archives may wish to collect some of these materials depending on circumstances. The inclusion of such materials is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the quality of the materials, their significance to the collection and to the faculty member’s body of work, and context.

4. Appraisal Criteria:

The UC Archives acquire faculty papers selectively while also striving to document the diversity of faculty members’ backgrounds, perspectives, and research interests. For determining the significance of a faculty member’s body of work, the following criteria are applied:

Is the individual known internationally or nationally for any of the following:

  • participant in/eyewitness to or commentator on major historical event
  • recipient of significant award [e.g. Field Medal, Nobel, Lasker, Pritzker, Wolf, Kyoto, Pulitzer, Guggenheim, MacArthur, etc.]
  • established new area of research
  • appointment to cabinet-level office [federal]
  • appointment to significant national or international organization [e.g. National Academy of Sciences]
  • designation as “fellow” within relevant professional society
  • top honor (medal, prize) within relevant professional society
  • significant patents/inventions

Is the individual important to the history of the region of California or the western United States, or a local area, for any of the following:

  • participant in/eyewitness to or commentator on a major historical event
  • appointment to/service within significant state/county/municipal office/organizationIs the individual’s role in the history of UC and the campus one or more of the following:
  • participant in/eyewitness to or commentator on a major historical event
  • UC Presidential Chair [faculty designation]
  • emeritus/emerita status
  • first to teach subject on campus
  • established new curriculum, department, or program on campus
  • significant service within campus [department chair, provost, dean]

Other indicators that an individual’s body of work is significant:

  • recipient of significant research grants

Additional considerations:

  • intellectual content
  • comprehensive collecting in subject already established/being established on campus
  • faculty member has completed an oral history interview
  • master reprint file publications not available (nationally, internationally)

5. Factors that may weigh against accepting papers:

(these may apply to an entire collection or to a portion of a collection)

  • identifiable portion of papers will be restricted or closed, or long-term restrictions placed by faculty member and/or family
  • portions of papers are held by another archival repository
  • photocopies/microforms/digital surrogates of materials that have already been donated elsewhere
  • portion of career spent at other UC or elsewhere
  • unwillingness of donor to transfer physical ownership of papers

6. Strategies for identifying appropriate faculty:

  • mention in publications [UC announcements, Chronicle of Higher Education, articles in major U.S. newspapers, book reviews]
  • recipient of significant award [e.g. Field Medal, Nobel, Lasker, Pritzker, Wolf, Kyoto, Pulitzer, Guggenheim, MacArthur, etc.]
  • referrals from subject specialists, faculty colleagues and affinity groups.

7. Copyright:

  • Copyright may be held by the individual faculty member, the UC Regents, or other rights holders. The disposition of copyright retained by a donor may be a factor in the acquisition decision.

8. Administration of faculty papers:

  • Papers may be designated either manuscript or archival, depending on particular institutional practices.

9. Bibliography:

Budd, John M. “Faculty Publishing Productivity…” College & Research Libraries 56:6 (Nov. 1995): 547-554.

Budd, John M. “Increases in Faculty Publishing Activity…” College & Research Libraries 60:4 (July 1999): 308-311.

Burckel, Nicholas (ed.) College and University Archives: Selected Readings. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 1979. [A revised edition of this work will be forthcoming from SAA.]

Case, Beau David. “The Acquisition of Faculty Member Publications at Their University Libraries.” Library Resources and Technical Services 44:2 (2000 April): 84-91.

The College and University Archives Section of the Society of American Archivists. Guidelines for College and University Archives (1999). Available at http://www.archivists.org/governance/guidelines/cu_guidelines.asp (accessed March 2006).

Honhart, Frederick. “The Solicitation, Appraisal, and Acquisition of Faculty Papers.” College and Research Libraries 45 (May 1983): 236-241.

Hyry, Tom, Diane Kaplan, and Christine Weideman. “‘Though This Be Madness, yet There is Method in ‘t'”: Assessing the Value of Faculty Papers and Defining a Collection Policy.” American Archivist 65:1 (Spring/Summer 2002): 56-69.

Laver, Tara Zachary. “In a Class by Themselves: Faculty Papers at Research Archives and Manuscript Repositories.” American Archivist 66:1 (Spring/Summer 2003): 159-196.

Maher, William J. The Management of College and University Archives. Lanham, Md., and London: The Society of American Archivists and The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1992.

Robyns, Marcus C.  Using Functional Analysis in Archival Appraisal: A Practical and Effective Alternative to Traditional Appraisal Methodologies. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2014.

Samuels, Helen Willa. Varsity Letters: Documenting Modern Colleges and Universities. Lanham, Md., and London: The Society of American Archivists and The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1998, c1992.

Schmidt, Gregory and Law, Michael, “Functional Analysis and the Reappraisal of Faculty Papers,” Provenance, Journal of the Society of Georgia Archivists 27 no. 1 (2009). https://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/provenance/vol27/iss1/6

Su, Mila C. “Women Coaches, Personal Papers, and University Archives Collections: A Case Study.” Archival Issues 20:2 (1995): 155-165.

Wolff, Jane. “Faculty Papers and Special-Subject Repositories.” American Archivist 44:4 (Fall 1981): 346-351.

Bentley Historical Library (2005 Apr 18)

Columbia University Archives – Faculty Papers

Tufts University Digital Collections and Archives – Collection Policy for Faculty Papers

UW Archives and Records Management – Faculty Papers

UCAC faculty papers draft
2005 apr 18/cbbrown
rev. Mar 2007/LMix, DFarrell, KNeal

rev. 17 Sept. 2019/PIlieva, EArroyo-Ramirez, MStahl

Last reviewed: September 17, 2019