Appendix 1: Types of Academic Records

The following list of types of records in most academic archives is suggestive, not exhaustive. The relative importance of such records will vary with each institution in accordance with the institution's and archives' mission statements. Documentation need not be restricted to these types, nor should archivists substitute this list for analysis of their institutions' archives. (See also Samuels in Appendix II.)

1. Legal or constituting documents (e.g., charters, constitutions, by-laws), vital records or security copies produced by any campus vital records program, policy statements, and reports (along with their supporting documents), minutes, substantive memoranda, correspondence, and subject files of the institution's:

  • governing board;
  • chief executive, academic, legal, financial, student affairs, and administrative officers;
  • heads of units operating with a high degree of independence, e.g., branch campuses, universities' colleges, medical and law schools, and research institutes;
  • major academic and administrative committees, including the faculty senate.

2. Reports of:

  • self-studies and accreditation visits;
  • annual budgets and audits;
  • offices of admissions, institutional research, university relations—public relations both on- and off-campus—and development (fundraising);
  • research projects, including grant records.

3. Records of:

  • departments, e.g., minutes, reports, syllabi, faculty vitae, and sample test questions;
  • retired, resigned, terminated, or deceased personnel the school employed;
  • the registrar, e.g., calendars and class schedules, noncurrent student transcripts, enrollment records, graduation rosters, and other reports issued on a regular basis;
  • academic, honorary, service, and social organizations of students, faculty, administrators, and staff on campus.

4. All publications, newsletters, posters, or booklets about or distributed in the name of the institution or one of its sub-units, e.g., books, posters, magazines, catalogs, special bulletins, yearbooks, student newspapers, university directories and faculty/staff rosters, alumni magazines, and ephemeral materials.

5. Special format materials documenting the operation and development of the institution, such as:

  • audio, audiovisual and multi-media productions—still photographs, slides, and negatives, motion picture films, audio and audiovisual cassettes;
  • oral history interviews with their transcriptions;
  • maps, blueprints, and plot plans of the campus and its buildings.

6. M.A. and Honors theses and dissertations.

7. Digital and other electronic records or lists of where such items are maintained and finding aids for accessing them.

8. Artifacts related to the institution if space permits and the institution has no museum.

9. Vertical files of primary and secondary materials for quick responses to general reference questions. Vertical files of secondary materials may be in the reading room for researchers.

10. Records and papers produced by school-related organizations, groups, and individuals while actively connected with the school, such as private papers of faculty members produced while working with or for the school; as well as manuscript collections related to the school—unless the archives is in a division with a manuscripts department. Some archives have greatly increased the documentation of their institutions by having all records and papers produced by school personnel in the course of their profession during their employment at the school, excepting personal correspondence, lecture and research notes, and products declared official school records.