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Archives and Special Collections

 Collection Development Policy

The Archives/Special Collections departments serve as research repositories for rare, unique, and primary source materials. Both departments acquire, preserve, and provide access to a wide range of materials in their original formats. The College Archives is responsible for all records of permanent historical value to Newberry College, and Special Collections houses rare, unique or fragile items collected by Newberry College throughout its history.

Service to the local, regional, national and international scholarly communities is also an important component of these departments’ mission. Archives/Special Collections therefore seek to collect and preserve materials of potential interest to both current and future researchers in the following categories:

Newberry College Archives

The Newberry College Archives serves as the official repository for the permanent records of Newberry College.

The primary purpose and function of the Newberry College Archives is to document the history of the college since its founding in 1856, by

  • assessing, collecting, organizing, describing, and preserving the historical, legal, fiscal, administrative, academic, and other records and papers of permanent institutional value, as well as collections of artifacts, ephemera, and other items associated with the history of the college
  • providing access and research assistance with those records and papers and associated collections to college administrators, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and other members of the college community, as well as scholars, journalists, authors, and others interested in researching the history, impact, and influence of Newberry College
  • developing, implementing, and maintaining a comprehensive college records management policy, with procedures for the transfer and accession to the archives of records and papers of permanent institutional value through the use of retention schedules and other official college policies governing their appraisal, collection, organization, description, preservation, and access

A significant secondary purpose and function of the College Archives is to help interpret the history of the college to the college community and to the public, by

  • providing access to and research assistance with college records and other papers and associated collections
  • conducting and facilitating the research, writing, and publication of, and participating in the publicity for, books, articles, and other publications on the history of the college, broadly defined
  • conducting and facilitating tours of the college campus focusing on the history of the college and on its historic buildings and other significant spaces
  • conducting and facilitating the research, planning and creation of, and participating in the publicity for, displays and exhibits of college records and other papers and associated collections on the college campus and elsewhere as appropriate
  • conducting and facilitating the planning of, and participating in the publicity for, lectures, workshops, symposia, and other events celebrating or interpreting the history of the college, broadly defined

In order to fulfill these purposes, the College Archives collects those records that have enduring value to documenting the history of Newberry College, its administration, programs, services, and members of its community. Records which possess historical, administrative, legal, and fiscal value are identified and retained permanently. The College Archives then preserves these records and makes them available for researchers.

The College Archives seeks to document the Newberry College community, which includes the administration, faculty, students, alumni, and staff. In assessing records appropriate for permanent retention, the College Archives attempts to collect the documentation produced from the conduct of College business.

The College Archives seeks to document material in four broad categories: 1) official records, papers, and publications; 2) selected faculty papers; 3) books and other publications by college-affiliated individuals and groups; and 4) artifacts and three-dimensional objects related to the history of the college.

The College Archives also provides access to selected material not classified as college records but material that can interpret or is closely associated with the history of Newberry College, the Lutheran Church in South Carolina and the United States, the history of church-affiliated (and other) higher education in South Carolina and the United States, the history of the town of Newberry, Newberry County, and environs in South Carolina, and related topics.

Official Records, Papers, and Publications

These records (which give evidence about the functions, policies, and decisions of the College) include among many different forms correspondence, reports, minutes, directives, announcements, publications, architectural and building plans, maps, prints, electronic files, and any other material produced by the College in pursuance of its functions. Records containing student information may be restricted due to College policies and state and federal laws. The College Archives also collects publications, newsletters, or booklets distributed by Newberry College including catalogs, yearbooks, student newspapers, directories and faculty/staff rosters, faculty and administrative newsletters and publications, and alumni publications. Audiovisual records documenting the development of the College such as photographic prints and negatives, slides, motion picture film, oral history interviews, audio and video tape, discs, and recordings are also considered part of the official records of the College.

Faculty Papers

The College Archives holds a limited collection of personal and professional papers of the Newberry College faculty and seeks to identify and acquire such material as appropriate. Faculty papers may offer insight into the history and operation of the College that otherwise may be lost by relying only on official administrative records. They reveal professional interests and opinions that frequently clarify matters mentioned in the official records of the central administration. Faculty papers document the academic life of the College and relate one’s academic career to his or her total interests, thereby constituting an important record. The following types of documentation reflect and illuminate the careers of the Newberry College faculty: official, professional, and personal correspondence (including e-mail); biographical material; photographs; tape recordings; class lecture notes and syllabi; research files; departmental or committee minutes and records; drafts and manuscripts of articles and books written; and diaries, notebooks, and memorabilia.

Artifacts, Ephemera, and Other Three-Dimensional Objects

The College Archives holds artifacts, ephemera, and other three-dimensional objects that further its mission to identify, select, preserve, create access to, provide reference assistance for, and promote the use of such materials. The Department will consider for inclusion in the collection items that have well-documented provenance and are in fair or original condition, limited to items that can be reasonably preserved, cared for, stored, and made accessible for research and exhibit purposes.

Books by College-Affiliated Individuals and Groups

Wessels Library collects selected publications authored by Newberry College, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and other individuals and groups associated with the college. Once a faculty or staff member is no longer employed by the college, those publications are transferred to the College Archives. Student, alumni, and other associated publications are collected by the College Archives at the time of publication of subsequent acquisition.

Other Materials Related to Newberry College, the Lutheran Church, or Local History

The College Archives also holds selected supplemental materials, such as correspondence, memoranda, reports, publications, and other papers of persons who are not alumni of Newberry College but are closely associated with its history; and books, pamphlets, newspapers (or articles), magazines (or articles), newsletters (or articles), and other publications and papers relevant to the history of the Lutheran Church in South Carolina and the United States, the history of church-affiliated (and other) higher education in South Carolina and the United States, or the history of the town of Newberry, Newberry County, and environs in South Carolina.

Privacy Concerns and Restrictions on Use

The Newberry College Archives is committed to preserving its collection and to making materials available for research. At the same time, it has an obligation to guard against invasion of privacy and to protect the confidentiality in its records in accordance with law. Therefore, every private donor has the right to impose reasonable restrictions upon his or her papers to protect confidentiality for a reasonable period of time. Restrictions on access are for a fixed term and are determined at the time of donation. The College Archives do not accept agreements that restrict access to material in perpetuity or does not supply a specific date releasing the restriction. It encourages minimal access restrictions consistent with the legal rights of all concerned.

Special Collections

Special Collections consists of approximately 3,500 books, pamphlets, serials, and maps in a variety of subject areas. The collection emphasizes Southern and South Carolina history, religious texts, the history of the Lutheran Church, and the personal collections of Newberry College faculty and administrators.

Deaccessioning Policy

This policy specifies the criteria to be considered when Archives/Special Collections disposes of items which have substantial research or financial value. It outlines the methods to be employed when deaccessioning takes place. It does not pertain to routine weeding of collections according to accepted practice. 

Evaluation of Materials

Archives/Special Collections may on occasion deaccession materials from either collection. Materials with significant research or financial value will be reviewed with careful research and consideration. Any deaccession decision should answer the following questions:

  1. Does the material fall within the scope of the current Collection Development Policy?
  2. Is the material a duplicate or does it duplicate information already held here or elsewhere in another format?
  3. What is the physical condition of the material?
  4. Are there any donor agreements or other legal issues that apply to this material?
  5. How would deaccessioning the material affect public access to information?
  6. Would the material be more useful to the scholars if located at another institution?

Once the final decision is made, documentation regarding the final disposal will be created, signed and dated by the Directors. This permanent documentation will be included in the Archives/Special Collections donor files, if available, and/or in a file entitled DEACESSIONED MATERIALS.

Disposition of Materials

Materials to be deaccessioned may be returned to the donor, transferred to other scholarly institutions, or sold. Any disposition of materials with significant research or financial value will be governed by the following considerations:

  1. Materials must be free of all legal impediments. No such materials will be deaccessioned when this action is contrary to any written agreement with the donor.
  2. Reasonable attempts will be made to contact the donor when materials are considered for deaccession unless otherwise specified by the donor.
  3. The method of disposition will be decided by Special Collections/Archives Directors in consultation with the donor and/or with the appropriate administrative units of Newberry College.

Any materials deaccessioned from either Archives/Special Collections will be sold with the proceeds to be used to further enhance either collection. Any materials that cannot be sold due to specific donor agreements will be returned to the donor if possible.