University Archives Collection Development
The University Archives collects records relating to the
history and culture of the University of Southern Mississippi that have
long-term, administrative, legal, fiscal or historical value.
of University Records
A university record is any information regardless of physical form or
characteristics, which serves to document the organization, functions,
policies, or other activities of the university and its faculty, staff, and
students. Any record
produced or received by any agency or employee of the university in the
transaction of university business becomes university property.
of Record Creators
- University of Southern Mississippi
administrative units and academic departments: The Archives broadly collects
inactive records in this area, including records produced or received by the
Board of Trustees, University President, Provost, Vice Presidents, College
Deans and Directors, Academic Departments and Programs, University Centers, and
other administrative and institutional offices.
- USM-affiliated organizations: The
Archives broadly collects inactive records in this area, including records
produced by faculty bodies, student organizations, alumni groups and USM
Process for Collecting University Archives Records
Only a small
percentage of the documentation generated by the University has long-term
archival value and is eligible for transfer to the Archives. The transfer of university records is
managed through Retention Schedules approved in accordance with the UNIVERSITY RECORDS RETENTION AND DISPOSITION POLICY. Questions regarding the appraisal and
disposition of records not listed in the Retention Schedule should be addressed
to the Curator.
of Records Collected
- Administrative and departmental records: Includes
records documenting the day-to-day activities of the University, but most
documents can be grouped into the following categories:
and policy documents:
Constitutions and by-laws, minutes and proceedings, policies and
records: Annual budget and audit reports;
- Records of the Registrar: Includes
timetables and class schedules, enrollment reports, graduation rosters, and
other reports issued on a regular basis;
or administrative files: Correspondence and memoranda (incoming and
outgoing) and subject files concerning projects, activities and functions;
information: On USM administrators, faculty, staff, students and alumni;
drawings: Includes various
architectural renderings, including site plans and drawings of mechanical,
structural and electrical systems;
- Academic departmental records: Includes
minutes, reports, correspondence, and syllabi;
publications: Includes newsletters, catalogs, yearbooks, student newspapers,
University directories, faculty/staff rosters, journals, brochures, monographs,
programs, posters, and announcements issued by all University offices, schools,
and departments, as well by faculty, student and alumni organizations.
files or electronic records: Machine-readable
data files generated for conducting University business will be considered for
- Security copies of microfilm reels
containing vital records.
of student organizations: Includes constitutions and by-laws, minutes and
proceedings, policies and procedures, reports.
- Photographic material: Includes prints, negatives, and
slides. Subjects prominently featured include:
People: Photos of individual faculty, staff,
students, and alumni;
and campus scenes: Photos of
individual buildings and groups of buildings; as well as aerial shots; and
and groups: Photos of groups of
faculty, staff, students, and alumni participating in various activities
including sports, commencement, departments, and organizations.
- Audio, videotapes and films: Includes documentation of
University events (particularly athletic activities) and the master audio files
of The Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage.
- Artifacts: Includes rare and unique objects pertaining to the University of Southern
Mississippi. The Archives strongly
prefers collection artifacts that contain well-documented provenance and are in
fair and original condition. The
Department will limit collecting to items that can be reasonably preserved,
cared for, stored, and made accessible for research and exhibit purposes.
and Dissertations: Includes
doctoral dissertations and theses generated by students in the Honors College.
of Records Excluded
- Routine letters of transmittal and
- Correspondence that is not personally addressed
from other departments or schools (on or off campus)
- Duplicated material and mass generated
commercial documents, such as "junk mail".
University Archives collects records primarily from the founding of the
University of Southern Mississippi as Mississippi Normal College in 1910 to the
Very occasionally, materials loaned to the University
Archives will be accepted when the conditions for acceptance are favorable to
the University Archives and the University of Southern Mississippi Libraries.
The originating office may place some restrictions
on access to records but the University Archives will not accept
materials that are closed to the public in perpetuity.
of Materials from the Collection (Deaccessioning)
Duplicates and materials that do not reflect the University
Archives' collecting areas or do not possess sufficient archival value may be
deaccessioned, subject to the documented terms of acquisition, University
regulations, and state and federal laws.