Archives and Special Collections - Mission Statement and Collection Development Policy

Mission statement

The Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections collects, preserves, provides access to, and interprets primary and selected secondary resource material on the culture and history of the university, the institutions and people of the local region, and in a broader context, materials which support original research on topics related to the university's curricular and scholarly endeavors.

The Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese American Archives, the Archives of the Center for Jewish Culture, the Howard T. Glasser Archives of Folk Music and Letter Arts and the Robert F. Kennedy Assassination Archives are entities representing related collections grouped according to a particular mission and collecting focus, but which fall under the care and management of the Archives and Special Collections unit as a whole, and are therefore subject to its policies and procedures.  Each has its own unique collecting scope that may be broader than that covered by the mission statement of the Archives and Special Collections.

Materials Collected

Materials are collected regardless of format.  "Records" may be written on paper, or may be photographs, audio or video recordings, 3-dimensional objects, or data files.   The following are the major categories of materials accepted by the Archives and Special Collections:

1.   University Recordsrecords created by employees and students of the university in the regular course of service to the university.  Includes records created by employees and students of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Southeastern Massachusetts University (and all previous university names), and parent schools New Bedford Textile School and Bradford Durfee Textile School (as well as all subsequent permutations of these school names), the Swain School of Design (including those records produced before it became part of Southeastern Massachusetts University) and the Southern New England School of Law (now UMass Law).   The archives and Special Collections Librarian follows the University of Massachusetts Records Management policy in recommending that only those university records deemed to be of enduring value by the University Archivist will be accepted. (Board of Trustees Doc. T99-061 Policy Statement on Records Management, Retention and Disposition, adopted August 4, 1999, and the related Standards revised June 13, 2008).

2.   Manuscript Collections:  personal papers of individuals and records of organizations that may or may not be associated with the university, but that fall under the statement of purpose or the collecting policies of entities within the Archives and Special Collections..  These can  include faculty or staff papers,.  These are distinguished from university records because they were not created in the course of employment or service to the university, but are of a more personal nature and often reflect the scholarly pursuits of the individual.  Manuscript collections can be personal papers of individuals, families, civic groups and organizations, primarily but not limited to  the local region which document the history of the people and culture of southeastern Massachusetts, with special emphasis on ethnic communities, organized labor, textiles and regional economics.

3.  Artificial collections:  collections of primary resource material produced by various individuals or groups and brought together under a particular theme, or duplicated collections of primary resource material housed elsewhere.

5.  Special Collections:  are generally secondary resource materials and include monographs and serials.  The Archives and Special Collections will accept only those monographs and serials that meet the following criteria, by approval of the Archives and Special Collections Librarian.  Donations of library materials will be handled under the procedures for acceptance of gifts (Section 2.5 in the Collection Development Policy) and be processed through the Acquisitions Department for inclusion in the library's general collections, or disposed of in an appropriate manner as outlined in this policy. 

Criteria for inclusion in Special Collections:

a.  Reference copies of monographs reflecting the history of southeastern Massachusetts, the history of the Portuguese-American community in North America, or any other topic deemed useful as ready reference to support research on manuscript collections held by the archives.

b.  Publications by university faculty and staff.

c.  Theses and dissertations completed by students of UMD.

d.  Signed or rare editions of monographs and serials, per approval of the Archives and Special Collections Librarian.  Priority will be given to items that support the UMD curriculum.

e.  Monographs or serials which reflect the history of the university, especially older texts in textile sciences, or support the study of the history of the university.

f.  Artists' books, zines and artists' portfolios of work created by students and faculty of UMD, or by other artists, which can be used to support the curriculum, especially in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.


(Original policy approved by Collection Development Committee, 9/26/97); Revised 9/27/10 and 10/18/13.