The Archivist and staff of the Archives actively seek, identify and acquire historically significant materials in the following categories:
- College administrative records, including, but not limited to: correspondence, memoranda, minutes, summary financial records, academic research, curriculum, contracts, reports, subject files, published materials, photographs, and any other material generated or received by the administrative and academic offices of the College in the conduct of their business.
- Materials that document the life of the College community, including student activities, alumni organizations, organization of faculty and administrators, and other College related groups. Such materials are essential complements to official College Records. They may take a variety of forms, including books, news clippings, manuscripts, maps and posters, motion picture films, audio and video tape, and artifacts and objects.
- The personal and professional papers of prominent people associated with the College, including College officers, faculty, students, alumni, and benefactors. These manuscript collections may include materials relating to issues of historical significance outside higher education as well as professional academic activities, research and teaching, and educational theories and practices during the lifetime of the college. This collecting area also extends to the papers of individuals and organizations where the subject matter of the collection is particularly relevant to the history of the College, institutions of higher learning and intellectual life in America, particularly Texas and the Southwest, and the community in which the College lives.
The deposit, transfer, or donation of records and other materials to the Archives is made according to specific procedures established by the Archivist. In the case of deposit of College records, the office or individual of origin does not relinquish control of the materials. In the case of transfer of College records for permanent retention at the Archives, the office or individual of origin relinquishes all rights to the materials. In cases where the materials are donated to the College, the donor usually relinquishes all rights, including copyright and literary rights. Donor restrictions are acceptable in special cases as determined by the Archivist.
Austin College Archives seeks donations of written, visual, and audible records that come within the scope of the Collections Policy. The Archives prefers to receive materials as gifts, although, under special circumstances, loans may be arranged. All donations will become part of the Archives for use in exhibits and for research by historians, students, and faculty. The Archives requires that a donor agreement be executed assigning all right and title to Austin College, including copyright and literary rights. Archival holdings are generally open to interested users. Therefore, the donor should discuss any sensitive material with the archivist at the time of the donation. Should the donor wish to reserve certain rights or place conditions on the gift, he or she should discuss terms of the donation with the Archivist prior to signing a donor agreement.
Some donors may be able to claim tax deductions for the value of their gifts. In such cases donors will need to obtain an independent appraisal. Although Archives staff does not make appraisals, the archivist may be able to provide the names of professional appraisers. Donations may be made by contacting the College Archivist, Suite 6L, Sherman, Texas 75090 (903) 813-2557.