What do we Collect from Faculty?

Faculty Papers: General Scope 

Faculty papers are an excellent complement to the historical and administrative records of UW-Madison. They document the career of the faculty member and provide documentation of the research activities happening at the University. Since they often contain significant information on teaching, research, and professional activities; researchers can gain a valuable perspective on the intellectual culture and life of the campus community. These guidelines outline the criteria required for faculty papers to be included in the University Archives and define the types of records we actively collect and types of records we do not want. A person whose career spanned several institutions may wish to consolidate his or her collection in a single place; at times a professional society may offer a more appropriate repository. A faculty member’s personal and family papers may be so closely related to his or her career that it is best to maintain the entire collection in the University Archives.

When in doubt, please don’t throw it out! If you are uncertain about whether to incorporate a particular record item with your papers, or if you have questions about an appropriate repository, please contact the Archives staff. We are always happy to advise you about the disposition of your papers. For additional information about what the University Archives collects in general, refer to our Collection Development Policy.

Criteria for Acquisition (must meet one or more)

  • National or international reputation in an academic field, known for significant and unique scholarly work
  • Record of service to University and contribution to the University’s growth and development
  • Recognized for excellence in teaching and as leaders in discipline/profession
  • Record of service and contribution in community, state, and/or national affairs; represent the University through notable partnerships and projects

Faculty Materials: What we DO Collect 

We urge that those faculty members who have made major contributions to their discipline and/or to the university to contact the Archives. We are particularly interested in materials such as:

  • Correspondence
  • Lecture notes and curriculum materials
  • Biographical material (CV’s, bibliographies, biographical sketches, personal memoirs, etc.)
  • Records from departmental or university-wide activities
  • Faculty Governance records
  • Grant proposals and final reports
  • Speeches and presentations
  • Course syllabi (final version)
  • Research related records and data
  • Meeting minutes and reports
  • Photographs and audio-visual materials
  • Scrapbooks, diaries, lab notebooks, etc.
  • Newspaper and magazine clippings, press releases, etc.
  • Drafts (only copies that include significant change in content)

Faculty Materials: What we DON’T Collect

A depository for primary source documents, the University Archives generally does not collect secondary or published materials. While many faculty members have extensive reprint or book collections, unless items are of unusual significance (e.g. annotated by a major scholar in the field) the Archives does not retain them. We urge faculty members to work with the General Library System, their departmental library, or with their professional associations to find appropriate homes for their reprint or book collections. In general, we do not collect materials such as:

  • Books and other publications, such as journals, magazines, and literary manuscripts
  • Reprints, off-prints, and preprints
  • Student records (exams, graded documents, grade lists, recommendation letters, student papers, etc.)
  • Evaluations (course, student, faculty, etc.)
  • Personnel records or other documents with Personal Identifiable Information
  • Financial records
  • Drafts of significant publications (case by case basis)
  • University publications (Archives staff will consider on a case by case basis to fill in gaps as needed)

Research Records

Research records can be quite complex and voluminous. They are of value both to support continuing research and to document past accomplishments. The University Archives will–within the limits of its limited resources–provide assistance to faculty members in the disposition of research materials. Scheduling research records so that they can be legally stored off site can be very beneficial both to the creating office and to the Archives in its efforts to preserve materials of enduring value.

Some legal obligations to retain research records may apply. Faculty policies relating to misconduct in scholarly research (Faculty Legislation, II, 314) obligate the university to investigate claims for a period of seven years. In addition, funding agencies and professional associations my have retention requires for research records.

How do I donate and transfer materials to the Archives? 

There are a number of options to transfer materials to the Archives and all donors are strongly encouraged to complete a transfer form survey and create an inventory. Prior to sending materials to Archives, you will need to work directly with Archives staff to request and complete an inventory spreadsheet. For additional information, please consult our Transfer Guidelines.

What are Faculty obligations for records scheduling?

In Wisconsin, all state agencies are required to file a records schedule or Records Retention Disposition Authorization with the Public Records Board prior to disposing of any records. Administrative and research records may need to be scheduled (appraised to determine appropriate retention and disposition decisions). Traditionally, the faculty papers at this institution have been treated as personal property, not institutional property, and have not required scheduling.