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Archives: Collection and Development Policy

Collection Policy

Collection Development Policy

The Harper College Archives collects materials (paper, visual, electronic, objects) primarily for their historical value used by students, staff, faculty, alumni and the community.  Materials accessioned will document the history of the college as a scholarly community, the institution’s development over time, and the interactions of students, faculty and staff within the college and community. 

In accordance with the State of Illinois Local Records Act of 1962, any records that are mandated to be retained permanently will be transferred to the College Archives for preservation.

Definition of Terms

Archival Records- College records that are no longer active or in use. These records have enduring historical value and should be retained and preserved indefinitely.

Accession- The transfer of physical and legal custody of materials to an archival institution, i.e. the College Archives.

Electronic Records- Electronic records are created and stored in a variety of formats, including, but not limited to email, data, web pages and other “born digital” records. “Born digital” records are College Records created and maintained in a digital format for the entirety of their life span.

Retention Schedule- The time that must elapse before College Records are destroyed or transferred to the College Archives. Records retention schedules are governed by the State of Illinois Local Records Act of 1962.

Records Management- The program in which College Records are created, maintained, and used, during their life span. After a record has not been used for 5 years, it will be evaluated for disposal by either destruction or transfer to the archives.

Records with enduring value document the college’s organization, function, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, other activities, or informational value.  Materials that fall under the collection scope of the Archives include:

  • College administrative records, include but are not limited to: correspondence, memoranda, minutes, financial records, policy documents, curriculum, reports, published materials, photographs, blueprints, and other material generated or received by the administrative and academic offices of the college in the course of business.
  • College community materials including student organizations and activities, alumni organizations, organizations of faculty and administration, and other college related groups.
  • Records of individual faculty or students as well as records of other organizations and individuals which contribute uniquely to the understanding of the college’s history will be considered on a case by case basis for inclusion in the Archives.
  • Materials collected, include but are not limited to: student publications, administration publications, newspaper clippings, manuscripts, documents, photographs, manuals, sound recordings, videotapes, films, scrapbooks, oral histories, books, artifacts, ephemera, and born digital records.

The Harper College Archives seeks transfers of records from college departments and donations that fit within the scope of this policy.  Records older than 5 years with institutional, official, and historical value will be transferred to the Archives. 

To transfer records to the Archives, please complete a Transfer of Records form below and send to the Archivist at

Donations of records to the Archives are welcome as well, provided they fit into the criteria listed above.  To donate your collection, please fill out an Archival Donations Form and the Archivist will contact you to discuss your donation. Acceptable Donors will be asked to fill out a Deed of Gift agreement below that transfers ownership of the records to the Archives and provides information about the materials.  Please note that we are unable to provide monetary appraisals for donations. 

The Archives reserves the right to determine the usefulness of materials offered to or received for the collection and discard those materials that are deemed non-archival at the time of accession and in the future.