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Concordia University Archives

This library guide provides information about accessing and researching in Concordia's Archives and Special Collections.

Policies and Procedures

Concordia University-Library Technology Center

University Archives Policy & Procedure




The primary purpose of Concordia University’s Archives is to preserve and service the official records of the institution and make them available to faculty, staff, students, board members, and outside researchers. In a sense, it shall be the official memory of the University and, as such, serve the administration. The collection will hold records in many forms, including but not limited to: official records of academic departments and University offices; official University publications such as circulars, catalogs, newsletters, announcements, and programs; photographs, slides and negatives; audio/visual recordings; and digital or machine-readable records.


The Archives shall perform a research function for scholars and students studying the University and its operation for legitimate purposes. Access to archival materials is primarily restricted to on-campus access in specific research areas. On a case by case basis, at the discretion of the Library Director, materials may be loaned to researchers via mail or electronic transmission.




Since the Collection provides primary source material of significant historical and/or research value to support teaching and learning at Concordia University, the LTC staff will ensure that these items are protected, organized, and displayed in a reasonable, scholarly manner, and that a reasonable compromise between use, preservation, and security is maintained.




Materials comprising the Archives are essentially official records of a noncurrent nature. These are documents which are produced in carrying on the work of a given office, are of enduring value, but are no longer required for the conduct of the day-to-day work of that office.


Any document, device or item, created or received, which serves to document the organization, functions, policies, decisions or other activities of the University and its faculty and staff can be considered a University record. Correspondence, reports, minutes, sound recordings, photographs, printed, copied and other reproduced items issued by the university may be included.


Some additions to the Archives may be made in the form of historical manuscripts. These are personal papers of officers, faculty, and students produced while they were associated with Concordia or related to the University. Private papers not produced in an official capacity are generally excluded. Personal papers will be added on a case by case evaluation.


Criteria in evaluating value of archival materials include the following:

  • Evidential value—degree to which the materials contain evidence of how the college is organized and how it functions

  • Information value—quantity of factual data


Below is a guideline of materials that may be regularly collected, although the list is not exhaustive:

  • Annual reports and strategic planning records

  • Board minutes, correspondence and reports

  • Committee minutes, correspondence and reports

  • Event pamphlets, programs, flyers and photographs

  • Newsletters

  • Publications

  • Photographs

  • President’s files

  • Yearbooks

  • Course catalogs and campus directories

  • Departmental records

  • Campus/student organization records

  • Ephemera related to events/honors

  • Collections associated with LCMS (case by case basis)

  • Collections associated with Saint Paul/Greater Minnesota (case by case basis)

  • Manuscript and special collections on a case by case basis




Acquisition of material will adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Priority will be given to material that directly relates to Concordia University-Saint Paul and the work and mission of the University. Collections will also be considered that relate to the LCMS, greater Minnesota, or projects conducted by the University’s faculty, staff or administrators that support the mission of the University.

  • The collection will primarily serve the Concordia University-Saint Paul community of students, faculty and staff, though outside researchers will find an interest in many of our collections.

  • The chronological boundaries of the materials coincide with the establishment of Concordia Academy, 1893, through the present.

  • The University Archives will have sole ownership over materials, even if the copyright resides elsewhere. The Archives requests that donors transfer the copyright interests to the University as specified in the Deed of Gift.

  • Expenses related to the arrangement, description, and preservation of collections should be minimal or offset through donations. The potential impact on workload of Library and Archives staff will be assessed when considering new acquisitions.




Materials comprising the Archives shall generally be obtained by transferring items from the issuing body to the Archives. Offices most directly involved are those of the President, Registrar, Director of Public Relations and departmental offices.


Archival materials are processed on the University’s fiscal calendar (July 1-June 30). Digital publications such as newsletters, CSP Updates, and campus-wide mailings received in the Archive’s email account should be transferred to CD for long-term storage. Student Senate minutes will also be emailed to the Archive email. Contact should be made with the current president or secretary of the Student Senate to ensure minutes are mailed. These should also be saved to CD on the fiscal year.




In general, gifts to the University Archives are always welcome and are especially encouraged. Gifts can come from a variety of sources, including – but not limited to – development efforts, administration, faculty, businesses, alumni, students, or community members. The Library can accept small or individual gifts to Special Collections informally. Large gifts will be acknowledged according to the University Gifts Policy.


Acquisitions to the collection should reflect the existing subject strengths of the Archives and must be substantial enough to provide a basis for scholarly research in the subject area; acquisitions to supplement existing collections are always welcome. In addition, adequate funds must be available to ensure that the collection can be maintained and developed. As with accepting gifts for the general collection, the relationship of the donor to the University will also be taken into account when considering the acceptance of gifts for Special Collections. The Library reserves the right to dispose of gifts as it deems appropriate. For example, the Library may deaccession a collection in the future, parts of a collection may be weeded for duplicates, or a collection may be donated to a more appropriate repository at a future time.




Use of archival and special collections material is freely granted to all responsible researchers, however, we require that you adhere to the following regulations and procedures to ensure the protection of our materials from deterioration, mutilation, or loss.


  1. All users must register by reading, completing and signing the User Registration Form, and must show current proof of identification.

  2. Personal belongings are to be kept separate from the research area.

  3. Due to preservation concerns, food, drink, smoking, and sticky notes are not permitted in the research area.

  4. Materials are non-circulating and must be used in specified location. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.

  5. Only one box may be used at a time and removal of only one folder from the box at a time is allowed. Out-cards will be provided to mark the folder position within the box. All records must be kept in their present arrangement. Loose pages must stay in order, being treated as if they were pages bound in a book.

  6. Due to the risk of inadvertent damage to documents, use of ink is prohibited. Please use soft lead pencil, laptop or other personal electronic device to take notes. To preserve the originals for future use, please make no marks or erasures or other changes in the materials. Do not rest objects on top of or take notes on top of library materials.

  7. Photocopying or scanning may be permitted, if it is in accordance with copyright restrictions, unless the item is fragile, exceptionally valuable, or too large.  When allowed, it is limited to single copies for the user’s reference use only.  All duplication will be performed by library staff only.

  8. These materials are provided for reference use only.  The user agrees to publish no portion of them without the written permission of the CSP Library, and assumes sole responsibility for any infringement of the literary rights, copyrights, or other rights which pertain to these materials.

  9. Citations should include the repository’s name: Concordia University, Saint Paul Library Technology Center & University Archives.

  10. The CSP Library requests that the user give the Library a copy of any publication relying heavily on its collections.

  11. Theft, destruction or mutilation of the materials is a crime and will be treated as such. You may be asked to submit any briefcase, bag, book, notebook, or other personal property for inspection before leaving the research area.