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University Archives

I. Mission

The Caldwell University Archives appraises, collects, describes, preserves, and makes available the non-current, official records of the University.  Materials about persons affiliated with the University that have legal, fiscal, administrative, or historical value are included in the Archives.

II. Scope

The Caldwell University Archives (CUA) serves as the principal repository for the institutional records of the University. The purpose of the CUA  is to collect, preserve, and make available inactive records of permanent historical value to the institution. The CUA collects records, papers and manuscripts, publications, and other historical materials documenting the intellectual, cultural, administrative, and social history of Caldwell University from its origins in 1939 as a women’s college to the present status as an independent, coeducational institution. The Archives contains a large collection of material by and about Caldwell University that documents the history, implemented policies, programs offered, and activities of the University.

III. Collection Areas & Types of Materials

Institutional History

The CUA collects records and publications that have permanent historical value in documenting programs, decisions, and individuals at Caldwell University. The following types of materials are currently in our collections:

  • Administrative records

  • Departmental records

  • Student Life activities, including materials on school functions and student organizations

  • Minutes, memoranda, correspondence and reports of the Board of Trustees, records and reports of the Office of President

  • Materials related to Academic Affairs

  • Accreditation reports and supporting documentation

  • Annual reports

  • Alumni records, including minutes of the alumni associations

  • All publications, newsletters and booklets distributed in the name of Caldwell University, including catalogs, special bulletins, yearbooks, student newspapers

  • University directories and faculty/staff rosters, faculty and administration newsletters and publications, alumni publications and ephemeral material

  • Photographs, negatives, slides, audio and video film, tapes and reels, oral history interviews, and optical and compact discs documenting the development of the University

  • Maps, prints and architectural drawings documenting the physical changes and development of the University

  • Artifacts relating to the history of Caldwell University

Dominican Heritage

The CUA also collects, on a smaller scale, items relating to the institution’s Dominican heritage:

  • Theses, dissertations, and other publications authored by Caldwell Dominican Sisters

  • Photographs of Dominican Sisters who were Caldwell faculty and/or administration

  • Publications, newsletters, and other records relevant to Caldwell’s Dominican heritage

Student Research

These are digital collections only. The CUA does not keep physical records for these collections. For information on accepted file formats, see the CUA’s Digital Preservation Policy.*

  • Honors Projects

  • Caldwell Research and Creative Arts Day (CRaCAD) abstracts & posters

*in progress

IV. Donations & Transfers


The CUA generally accepts donations of items and memorabilia that are within the collection scope. If a donation has been accepted, the donor must complete a Deed of Gift form, which describes the materials being donated and acknowledges the rights of disposition and terms of agreement. Due to limited staffing, budget, and space, all donations are subject to review by the Archivist. The CUA reserves the right to decline donations if they do not fit within our collecting scope, are in poor physical condition, or we cannot house them adequately. Final decisions regarding major acquisitions and large donations may also be made in conjunction with the Library Director.


It is strongly encouraged that all department staff wishing to transfer records to the CUA consult with the Archivist prior to sending the materials. It is also strongly recommended that department staff complete a Transfer form prior to transferring materials to the CUA. This provides a description of the material, acknowledges the rights of disposition, and indicates if there are any restrictions on accessing the material. If department staff is unable to meet with the Archivist or discuss the transfer via phone or email, it is requested that they complete the Transfer form and include it with the materials. Please do not send materials anonymously. Transfers from university departments should only include inactive records of permanent historical value. Active records must be maintained by the originating department and will not be accepted.

V. What the CUA Will Not Accept

Physical Condition

Because the CUA does not have dedicated preservation and conservation resources, it is important that we only accept materials that are in good physical condition. The costs associated with preserving and storing damaged items typically exceed the limitations of our budget, so we cannot accept materials that are in poor condition. This includes items that are badly deteriorated or show evidence of mold or insects. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.

Duplicate Copies

As a general rule, we do not keep more than two copies of any item (three, at the most). Due to the limited space for our collections, we cannot accept duplicate copies of items already held in the CUA. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis, such as if the duplicate copy has any features that are unique from the copy/copies that already exist in the collection.

Items Not Accepted

  • Plaques and trophies
  • Objects/ artifacts not directly related to collection scope 
  • T-shirts and other garments not directly related to collection scope 
  • Photocopies and reproductions
  • Oversize prints and posters
    • We do not have the storage space to accommodate these items. 
  • University records that are still in active use
  • Routine financial documents such as receipts, checks, etc.
  • Files documenting routine activities such as traveling, scheduling, etc.
  • Personnel files

VI. Deaccessions

Decisions regarding the deaccessioning and removal of material will be made at the discretion of the Archivist. Donors will acknowledge that the CUA has the right to dispose of unwanted material at the time of donation when completing the Deed of Gift or Transfer form. They can also choose to have any unwanted material returned to them. For materials that are transferred to the CUA anonymously, it will be understood that the CUA assumes ownership of the material and may remove and/or dispose of any unwanted material. All deaccessions will be given careful consideration and will be documented internally.

VII. Review

This policy will be reviewed every five years to ensure that it remains current and relevant to the needs of the collection.

VIII. References

“Collection Development Policy.” Archives & Special Collections, Amherst College

“Collection Development Policy.” Emerson College Archives, Emerson College.

“Special Collections (SPC) and Walsh Gallery Collecting Policies.” Archives & Special Collections, Seton Hall University. June 8, 2016.