This document forms a constituent part of the Edinburgh University Library (EUL) Collections Policy. Edinburgh University Archives, (EUA) forms part of Special Collections which itself turn forms part of the Collections Division within Edinburgh University Library, (EUL).
The University Archivist reports directly to the Director of Collections who in turn reports to the Director of Library Services). The Director of Collections carries responsibility for all the University Collections, including museum and other historic collections held across the University of Edinburgh.
EUA derives its authority to collect from the policy statement and acquisitions policy adopted formally by the University’s Central Management Group on 22nd May 1996.
As part of EUL’s Special Collections, EUA has adopted the Historical Manuscripts Commission’s Standard for Record Repositories.
The main purpose of EUA is- To select, preserve and make available the archives of the University to the highest standards.
The three main objectives are:
To collect archives generated by or relating to the University of Edinburgh and its predecessor bodies by donation, deposit, internal transfer or purchase. The use of the word archives rather than the broader term records is deliberate, thus implying a selective process will be applied. The phrase generated by or relating to is taken to mean:
Suitable storage conditions are available for paper and photographic material. No facilities are yet available for archival quality storage of electronically held records but advice on long term preservation of electronic records is available at the link below.. In exceptional circumstances however it may be possible to arrange storage of electronically held material pending formal establishment of a recognised digital archive repository. Any artefacts relating to the history of the University should be referred to the University’s Collections Support Officer based in Special Collections. Original film or sound archives relating to the university will normally be referred to or deposited with specialist repositories but such material should always be referred to the University Archivist in the first instance.
The University Archivist selects for preservation in the University archive only those unique records which make a significant contribution to the understanding of the University’s history, its or its alumni’s impact on the wider world, or the environment in which it operated. He reserves the right to reject records whose physical condition inhibits research access.
Curatorial responsibility for corporate archives is deemed to be transferred to EUL at point of physical transfer. This means that the University Archivist may take all appropriate preservation/conservation measures and may arrange for descriptive cataloguing to recognised professional standards. Archives generated and owned by individual members of staff, alumni and students will normally be transferred to EUL under an agreed deed of gift.
Archives of University functions/activities worthy of permanent preservation will normally be identified via retention scheduling procedures and/or other appropriate guidance available to staff in co-operation with the University’s records management office.
Unless otherwise agreed at time of acquisition and subject to any legislative exemptions that may apply, archives acquired by EUL will be made available for use by bona fide researchers including University staff in conformity with standard EUL access policies.
Information contained in accessible archives may be copied at the request of users without restriction subject to standard EUL procedures and in conformity with copyright legislation. Unless otherwise advised at time of transfer, copyright in corporately generated archives is owned by The University of Edinburgh.
The University Archivist reserves the right to review the archival status of accessioned archives and to recommend their disposal or destruction if appropriate.
The EUA Collections Policy document will be subject to the same review cycle as the EUL Collections policy with other ad hoc reviews as required.
This article was published on Nov 14, 2012