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University of the West of Scotland

Special Collections

UWS Special Collections and Archives

Research Collections acquisitions policy

Introduction

BACKGROUND

The University of the West of Scotland holds a growing number of Special Collections and Archives, a Local History collection and a Rare Book collection all housed within the Special Collections Department of the Library.  Work began on establishing the University’s Special Collections 2001 with the initial writing of finding aids/calendars and the archival arrangement and cataloguing of the University’s special collections and archives.   

The Special Collections Department is housed in the Robertson Trust Library and Learning Resource Centre of the Paisley campus.

Methods of Acquisition

The Special Collections may acquire records in the following ways:

            • Gift - Legal ownership of records is transferred to the University Special Collections.  
            • Purchase - Records are purchased from the owner or from a reputable dealer.
            • Transfer - Internal transfer from another University Department or Campus.
            • Loans - Custody and responsibility for the records is transferred for a fixed, or in some cases indefinite period to the Special Collections, whilst the depositor retains legal ownership.  Specific agreements on the nature of the loan and any conditions of use or access will be made on a case-by-case basis.

        Policy Statement

        Aims

        The aims of the University of the West of Scotland Special Collections are:

      • To assist and promote the study of the past through use of special collections and archival materials, in order to inform present and future generations.
  • To assist and promote lifelong learning through the use of special collections and archival material.
  • To collect and preserve records of historical interest or research relevant to  research interest of the University of the West of Scotland.
  • To collect and preserve records of historical or research interest relating to  the West of Scotland.
Objectives

The objectives of the University of the West of Scotland Special Collections are:

  • To acquire, preserve, catalogue and make available primary source materials  of continuing evidential value.
  • To make the University’s special collections and archives accessible and  promote their value as an educational resource.
  • To preserve new and existing records for current and future use.

Collection Policy

The University of the West of Scotland Special Collections seeks to collect original and unique special collections and archival material that reflects the broadest possible issues and concerns to support teaching and research in the University of the West of Scotland and the wider community.  Records can be internally transferred, deposited on long-term loan, gifted and purchased.   

Acquisition Policy

The University of the West of Scotland Special Collections seeks to acquire:

  • University Records
  • University related Records
  • Records of research value to the University
Acquisition Priorities
  • To acquire personal papers of individual educationists such as      policy-makers, researchers, writers and thinkers that will increase the range and depth of the collections held by the Special Collections.
  • To acquire records of research projects and initiatives; (these records have usually been created by individual staff and students or groups and societies   related to the University of the West of Scotland).
  • To acquire records of University staff including official, professional and personal correspondence; biographical material; research files; class lecture notes, diaries, notebooks and other related memorabilia (subject to appraisal criteria, e.g. national or international reputation in their respective academic field).
  • To acquire records of University staff and student societies (minute books,  pamphlets, leaflets, membership lists and other related memorabilia).
  • To acquire records of corporate bodies such as trade unions; societies;  special interest groups; professional bodies and associations.
Records not Acquired
  • Records where quantity outweighs the quality of the information which the  records contain.
  • Records where the preservation/conservation costs necessary to allow  access, outweigh the historical value of the records.
  • Records held in a non-paper format requiring skills or equipment beyond the  University’s resources to interpret, preserve or access.
  • Records closely associated by provenance with those already housed in  another archive repository.
  • Records which are still in current or semi-current use by their originator(s).
Acquisition Conditions
  • It is a condition of acceptance that all records be non-current.
  • It is a condition of acceptance that there be no unnecessary restrictions on  access or availability for research.
  • It is a condition of acceptance that the depositor must have the authority to  transfer the material and sign a formal deposit agreement.
  • It is a condition of acceptance that the records either become the property of  the Special Collections Department or its responsibility to be administered as it sees fit.
  • Finding aids may be required with larger deposits where the size of the  collection is likely to render the records inaccessible until processed.
De-Accessioning

The purpose of the University of the West of Scotland Special Collections is to collect and permanently preserve records of historical value relating to the University and its immediate geographical location, in accordance with this Acquisition Policy.  A periodic review of the records held, (in the light of research use of the records) shall be carried out.  Records held which may fall outside this policy should be removed from the University Special Collections (de-accessioned).  Only material that clearly falls outside the conditions of the Acquisition Policy outlined above may be de-accessioned.

The University Special Collections accepts the principle that there should be a strong presumption against the disposal by sale of any records in their ownership and shall seek a more suitable repository if it is considered that the records would benefit from relocation.  Only records chosen for de-accessioning, which cannot be transferred to another repository, or returned to their original owner, shall be destroyed.  Only records previously purchased by the University shall be sold/auctioned.

Review

The University of the West of Scotland reserves the right to review and alter this policy at any time. 

The University Special Collections Librarian will review this Acquisition Policy within three years (prior to August 2012).

The University Special Collections and Archives is grateful to receive any information from within the University or externally, suggesting possible sources of records to complement existing collections.  Please contact the Special Collections Librarian.

Contact Details:
 

Allison Buchanan

Special Collections and Archives Senior Librarian

email: allison.buchanan@uws.ac.uk

Tel: 0141 849 4240

Fax: 0141 848 3761