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LIB-018 University Archives Policy

University Archives Policy (1)

Category:  Collections

Library Number: LIB-018

Responsibility: University Librarian/University Archivist

Approver: Library Management Team

Approval: March ##, 2015



The University Archives (officially the Engracia de Jesus Matthias Archives and Special Collections) serves the University as a whole and its primary objective is the gathering and dissemination of knowledge.   The University Archives is established as a department of the Arthur A. Wishart Library reporting to the University Librarian.


This policy applies to University Archives - Engracia de Jesus Matias Archives and Special Collections

1. University Archives – Purposes and Principles

1.1 The University Archives (officially the Engracia de Jesus Matthias Archives and Special Collections) serves the University as a whole and its primary objective is the gathering and dissemination of knowledge.   The University Archives is established as a department of the Arthur A. Wishart Library reporting to the University Librarian.

1.2 Its first priority is to acquire, appraise, preserve and make accessible (where permitted) records in all formats of institutional, legal, evidentiary, educational, and research value concerning Algoma University in a manner consistent with legislation and professional practices governing archives in Canada. 

1.3 The second priority of the University Archives is to develop unique collections, which parallel, complement and enhance research resources and interested established by the University.

1.4 In conducting its work, the University Archives adheres strictly to the internationally recognized archival principle of respect des fonds, which includes and builds on the principles of provenance and original order.    Essentially these principles state that records are arranged and organized according to how the creating person(s) or organization(s) created, received and used their records.  Records of one creator are not mixed with those of another according to artificially imposed schemes, nor are archival fonds broken up artificially by the archives staff or researchers. 

1.5 The University Archives also adheres to the professional and ethical policies and codes established by the Archives Association of Ontario, Association of Canadian Archivists, the Society of American Archivists, and the International Council of Archives among others.

2. University Archives – Scope and Programme

The scope and programme concentrates on three main categories of archives:

2.1 Official Records of Algoma University   These include records of current and predecessor governing, administrative, academic and student governance bodies of the university which have archival value; e.g. regulations, policies, minutes, correspondence and reports of faculties, departments and administrative offices; and which are preserved for their legal, evidential, educational, or research values.  These records demonstrate the functions of University records creating bodies and how those bodies executed those functions. (2)

2.2 Non-Official Records of Algoma University These include records of University related activities (such as the student societies, faculty associations, staff associations, etc.); records that reflect the life of the University community (such as the private papers of faculty, staff and alumni) and publications of student, faculty and alumni organizations that relate to some aspects of University life.

2.3 Private Archives These include records, in any format, of selected individuals and organizations not associated with the University, but whose archival records the University Archives acquire to support the research and teaching at Algoma University or that helps the University fulfill its special charter mandates in the Algoma University Act.  The University Librarian shall monitor the extent of these records with due consideration for available storage space.

3. University Archives – Management


3.1 The copyright of the records shall belong to the donor, unless the donor has transferred copyright to another person or corporate body. 

Ownership of Records

3.2 Physical ownership of donated records shall belong to Algoma University; the University Archives shall not accept any records “on deposit” or subject to removal.

Collection Development

3.3 Immediate areas of collection strength will include the history of Algoma University and its predecessor institutions, as well as regional textual and oral history.

3.4 Future areas of development and growth will include those research and teaching programmes in which the university has special expertise or resources. The University Archives will also acquire records that will support future teaching and research programmes.  The University Archives will monitor developing curricula trends with the assistance of faculty and pro-actively seek out unique archives and primary sources vital to the work of future students and faculty.

3.5 Donors of private papers may donate to the University Archives on terms agreed to by the owner and the University Librarian that are consonant with articles 1.3-1.5 and 2.3 of this policy.

3.6 The University Archives will not acquire the records of institutions and corporate bodies that have archive facilities or are legally obligated to be except under extraordinary circumstances.(3)

Management Principles

3.7 Official records of Algoma University are the property of the University. Officers leaving or relinquishing their positions with the University shall leave all official records for their successors.

3.8 The University Librarian may develop and implement regulations concerning the use and day-to-day operation of the University Archives. All regulations shall be provided for information to the University’s senior management committee.

Access to Records

3.9 Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (R.S.O. 1990, CHAPTER F.31) shall determine access to official University records transferred to the University Archives.

3.10 Donor agreements and relevant internal policies and external legislation shall determine access to Private Archives as defined in 2.3.


(1) The policy assumes that the University Librarian is the University Archivist.  Should the University grow sufficiently that the University creates the University Archivist position, then the University Archivist will be officer responsible for this policy.

(2) For example, according to the Municipal Act, 2001 S.O. 2001, Chapter 25, Section 254.1 a municipality could enter into an agreement with a university archives to act as the “archivist” and the “archives” for purposes of the Act but this would be at the discretion of the university  2001, c. 25, s. 254 (4).

(3) This policy treats “records creating body (ies) as equivalent to department, committee, office, functional unit or any other corporate entity responsible for fulfilling the functions of the University.