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University Archives Collection Development Policy

University Archives Collection Development Policy

Reviewed By: Administrative Council on
Approved By: President Morales on

For interpretation of this policy, please contact the responsible department: Pfau Library, (909) 537-5102

General Collecting Scope

The Arthur E. Nelson University Archives serves as the designated campus repository for records, documents, publications, and other materials that document the history of California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB).

The primary function of the University Archives is to acquire, manage, and provide access to materials created by colleges and academic departments, university administration, faculty, and student organizations in order to preserve institutional memory and to support the teaching and research needs of the CSUSB campus community.

Relevant materials in any format (e.g., paper-based materials, sound and video recordings, microforms, digital files, maps, photographs, architectural drawings, etc.) are eligible for inclusion in the University Archives.

The University Archives does not collect all university-related materials but aims to acquire those items that document the university’s decision-making processes and essential cultural history.

CSU Administrative Mandate

California State University’s (CSU) Chancellor’s Office maintains the CSU Records Retention and Disposition policy[1] which requires each CSU campus to retain specific records created by the individual institution.

The University Archives is responsible for records that meet the criteria for ‘historical’ value as defined by CSU Executive Order (EO) 1031 (Systemwide Records Information Retention and Disposition Schedules Implementation). [2] EO 1031 defines ‘historical’ value as records of long-term value that document past events or arise from exceptional age and/or connection with some significant event or person associated with the CSU.

Records designated as ‘historical’ in the CSU Retention and Disposition schedules [3] should be transferred by the office of origin to the University Archivist for review when these records become inactive and are no longer regularly needed for business purposes. It is the responsibility of the University Archivist to make the final determination on which records satisfy the requirements for ‘historical’ value and are suitable for retention in the University Archives.

Campus-Level Core Materials

Campus-level core materials are defined as those items that the University Archives should strive to collect, at minimum, in order to fulfill its primary function. The following list was not designed to be exhaustive, rather it is meant to provide guidance to the University Archivist when reviewing collections and selecting items for transfer to and retention in the University Archives.

Administrative and Program Records

  • University Administrators including presidents, vice presidents, provosts, and deans (e.g., correspondence, memorandums, meeting minutes)
  • Colleges and departments (e.g., founding documents, annual reports, meeting minutes, organizational charts)
  • Divisions (e.g., annual reports, meeting minutes, organizational charts)
  • Faculty Senate (e.g., bylaws, constitution, agendas, meeting minutes, reports)
  • Office of Academic Programs (e.g., curriculum policies, accreditation documentation)
  • Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (e.g., publications, reports)
  • Facilities Planning & Management (e.g., architectural drawings, designs, & blueprints, campus space & facility reports)
  • Athletics (e.g., schedules, rosters, annual reports)
  • Library (e.g., reports, organizational charts)
  • Palm Desert Campus (e.g., founding documents, course offerings, annual reports)
  • Associated Students, Inc. (e.g., bylaws, meeting minutes, founding documents)
  • Student organizations with a substantial impact on campus (e.g., bylaws, meeting minutes, founding documents)


  • Bulletin of courses (course catalog)
  • Schedule of classes
  • Academic calendars
  • Telephone directories
  • Student newspaper
  • Yearbooks
  • Commencement programs
  • Brochures
  • Fact sheets
  • Newsletters
  • Bulletins
  • Faculty, staff, and student handbooks
  • Personnel manuals
  • Master and strategic plans

Non-textual materials

  • Photographs, negatives, and slides
  • Sound and video recordings
  • Campus maps
  • Promotional posters
  • Memorabilia
  • Artifacts

Other Materials

  • University founding and incorporation documents
  • University special events and anniversaries records
  • Alumni association records
  • Biographical data about faculty, staff, and benefactors

Faculty papers [4]

Faculty papers are collections of materials created and originally maintained by an individual teaching or conducting research in higher education. [5] These collections contain significant information on teaching, research, professional, and administrative activities, allowing researchers to gain valuable insights on the intellectual vitality of the university community. In addition to documenting individual careers, faculty papers can also be a rich resource of university history

The University Archives acquires faculty papers selectively while also striving to document the diversity of faculty members' backgrounds, perspectives, and research interests. When determining the significance of a faculty member’s body of work, the following measures are considered:

  • Participant in, eyewitness to, or commentator on a major historical event
  • Recognized expert in their area of research/study
  • Recipient of significant awards/honors
  • Established new university curriculum, department, or program
  • Significant university service (e.g., department chair, dean, provost)
  • Appointed to prominent national/international organization (e.g., National Academy of Sciences)
  • Significant patents/inventions
  • Emeritus/emerita status
  • Comprehensive collection of materials with substantial intellectual content in a subject area relevant to the university’s academic programs

There are also several factors that may weigh against accepting faculty papers into the University Archives including:

  • Identifiable portion of collection has donor-imposed access restrictions
  • Portions of the collection are held by another archival repository
  • Surrogate copies of collection materials are held by another archival repository
  • Majority of career spent at another CSU campus or university
  • Unwillingness of donor to transfer physical ownership of collection

Excluded Materials

The following types of materials are considered out of scope and not collected by or maintained in the University Archives:

  • Financial records (e.g., payroll records, purchase orders, receipts)
  • Personnel records (e.g., RPT files, evaluations, leave requests)
  • Student records (e.g., grades, marked student papers)
  • Health records (e.g., patient files)

Additional Considerations

The University Archives:

  • Actively collects university publications as they are published and select university records in digital format (e.g., faculty senate meeting minutes, annual reports, official memorandums) as they are made publicly available online through the university website.
  • Does not collect active records that are still in-use regularly by the office of origin (only inactive records will be added to the University Archives).
  • Does not accept on-deposit materials and also cannot provide temporary record storage.
  • Collects no more than three copies of any single item (exceptions may be made in rare cases).
  • Reserves the right to de-select and withdraw materials which no longer fit the criteria for inclusion as the relevance of materials in the University Archives can and will change over time.





[4] The “UC Faculty Papers: Identification and Appraisal” guidelines heavily influenced this section of the policy,