SCSU Historical Collection

Collection Development/Acquisition Policy

I.  Mission and Overview of the SCSU Historical Collection
  A. Mission Statement:  The South Carolina State University Historical Collection is part of the Miller F. Whittaker Library.  The primary mission of the Miller F. Whittaker Library is "to provide access to and delivery of information resources to support research methodology and critical thinking, instruction, self-development, lifelong learning skills, and the mission of the University. . . ."  The role of the SCSU Historical Collection in accomplishing this mission is to collect, organize, preserve, and make accessible primary source materials relating to the history of the University and the local community, in accordance with accepted archival principles.  In keeping with the library's commitment to serve students, faculty, and the community, the SCSU Historical Collection promotes the use of these materials by the SCSU community, scholars, and the public.
  B. History:  The SCSU Historical Collection began as a project in 1975, under the administration of the Miller F. Whittaker Library staff.  The SCSU Historical Committee was appointed by the Dean of Library and Information Services, and members of the library staff served on the committee.  The committee organized materials and a staff member was assigned to work in the collection when time permitted.  The archivist position was created in 1997.
II.  Types of Programs Supported by the Collection
  A. Research:  The collection supports undergraduate-level, graduate-level, and scholarly work in the following areas:  the history of South Carolina State University; local history; the history of the Palmetto Medical, Dental and Pharmaceutical Association; and the Orangeburg Massacre.  Holdings also provide important supporting resources for research into African-American education and culture.  Types of projects include books, articles, undergraduate and graduate papers, news reporting, historical preservation, and film documentaries.
  B. Outreach:  The collections provide the foundation for outreach activities by which the SCSU Historical Collection furthers the awareness, development, and use of its materials.  This outreach program has included lectures, workshops, brochures, websites, and publications.  It has also included presentations to historical research methods classes and other groups on the use of primary research materials as well as specific holdings information.  Onsite and portable exhibits are also prepared.
  C. Curriculum Support:  The collections support both undergraduate and graduate curricula and programs in South Carolina State University’s Schools of Arts and Humanities and Education.  The graduate degrees and majors most strongly supported by the holdings include programs in Communication and Languages, Political Science and History, and Education.
III.  Clientele Served by the Collections
  Regular clientele include scholars, faculty, students, South Carolina State University administrators and staff, donors, journalists, and the general public.  Persons wishing to use collections must register and present identification.
IV.  Priorities and Limitations of the Collections
  All archival collecting activity involves the evaluation and selection of documentary materials determined to be of enduring value.  Four specific terms are used to describe levels of collecting activity:
exhaustive—to collect all of the documentation relating to a field;
comprehensive—to collect much of the documentation relating to a field;
complementary—to collect at a level that fills gaps in the existing documentary record and supplements resources available elsewhere; and
selective—to collect only minimally.
  Exhaustive, comprehensive, and complementary collecting support graduate-level research and scholarship; selective collecting does not.
  A. Present Collection Strengths:  The holdings are strongest in twentieth century materials relating to South Carolina State University and the Orangeburg Massacre.
  B. Present Collecting Levels:  Materials relating to the university and the Orangeburg Massacre are collected on a comprehensive level.  Photographs and organizational records are collected on a complementary level.  Books are collected on a selective level.
  C. Present Identified Limitations:  The SCSU Historical Collection is weak in resources on the local African-American community and alumni.  University documentation is incomplete.  There are significant gaps in the time periods covered by the holdings.
  D. Desired Levels of Collecting:  The SCSU Historical Collection wishes to continue collection on a comprehensive level materials pertaining to the history of the university and the Orangeburg Massacre.  The SCSU Historical Collection wishes to collect on a comprehensive level materials pertaining to the administrative functions of South Carolina State University, including records generated by University deans, deliberative bodies, and public relations units.  The Historical Collection wishes to collect on a comprehensive level materials relating to the history of the local community and alumni, especially those alumni serving in exemplary roles.  The Historical Collection wishes to continue collecting organizational records and photographs on a complementary level and books on a selective level.
  E. Chronological Periods Collected:  The SCSU Historical Collection acquires primarily late-nineteenth and twentieth century material.
  F. Forms of Material Collected:  The SCSU Historical Collection accepts documentation in all of the common modern formats, including photographs, audio-visual materials, and published and non-published documents.  Electronic records and three-dimensional artifacts are accepted on a limited basis due to equipment, financial, and space constraints.
  G. Exclusions:  The SCSU Historical Collection does not collect materials unrelated to the history of the university or the local community or which does not reflect the experiences of alumni.  Material may also be unacceptable due to its physical condition.
V.  Cooperative Agreements
  The SCSU Historical Collection frequently cooperates with other repositories, organizations, and other units at South Carolina State University.
VI. Resource Sharing
  Under appropriate terms and conditions, the SCSU Historical Collection shares resources with other departments and institutions when such sharing is beneficial to researchers and when material will not be damaged.  All such sharing must be in accordance with the terms of the relevant donor agreement(s).  A donor may specify with which departments or institutions items may be shared and/or that no items may be shared.  Materials may be loaned temporarily or permanently transferred to another institution.  Resources shared may include duplicate and extraneous materials from collections (if acceptable under the terms of the donor agreement); copies of materials from collections; hard-copy finding aids; electronic versions of finding aids, collections, and items; and facilities.
VII. Statement of Deaccessioning Policy
  The SCSU Historical Collection may deaccession materials that do not reflect its collecting areas, that duplicate existing holdings, that relate to subjects that are no longer a priority of the Historical Collection, or that are judged not to be of enduring value.  The relevant donor agreement(s) will determine the disposition of materials in a collection.  In general, the options for deaccessioned material included a) offering material back to the donor or heirs, b) transferring material to another area in the Miller F. Whittaker Library (e.g., circulating collection), or c) offering it to another appropriate library or archival institution (which may be specified in the donor agreement).  All disposition of archival materials will be in accordance with state and federal laws.
VIII. Procedures Affecting the Collecting Policy and Its Implementation
  A. Deed of Gift:  The SCSU Historical Collection does not accept materials without a legal transfer of title, deed of gift, or other official acknowledgement.
  B. Loans and Deposits:  Materials loaned to or deposited with the SCSU Historical Collection are accepted when the conditions for acceptance are favorable to the Historical Collection.  All such items are covered by a written agreement.
  C. Closed Collections:  The SCSU Historical Collection does not accept collections that are closed in perpetuity.  Restrictions regarding access to and use of collections are accepted only when mutually agreeable to the donor and the Historical Collection. 
  D. Deaccessioning:  The SCSU Historical Collection reserves the right to deaccession any materials within its holdings, as long as the disposition is in accordance with relevant donor agreements and state regulations.
  E. Exhibitions:  The SCSU Historical Collection reserves the right to include unrestricted materials in exhibitions, in accordance with standard archival principles and practices.
  F. Revision of Policies:  The SCSU Historical Collection reserves the right to change the preceding policies as necessary, in accordance with recognized professional standards and principles of archival management.  Revisions will not, however, revoke previously negotiated donor agreements.
IX. Procedures for Monitoring Development and Reviewing Collection Development Guidelines
  This policy will be reviewed at least every five years for effectiveness and appropriateness.  All revisions will be consistent with professional archival standards and principles and will not revoke previously negotiated donor agreements.



Developed 2/2001


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