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Zahnow Library - University Archives and Special Collections: Mission and Collection Policy

Catherine Curtis

Anita Dey

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Anita Dey
Library Administration Office
Zahnow Library - Z 425


Saginaw Valley State University's Archives and Special Collections at Melvin J. Zahnow Library collects, organizes, preserves, provides access to, and promotes the use of its rare and unique materials in order to support and encourage the research needs and participation in academic programs of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and other scholars outside the academic community. 

Collection Policy 

General Statement of Purpose

Zahnow Library University Archives and Special Collections collects material that documents the institutional history, life, and culture of the university and/or augments the educational resources pertinent to the academic programs of the university. 


Collecting areas of specific interest within the University Archives include: 

  • Board of Control and selected Presidential materials 
  • Materials documenting student activities including clubs, organizations and student governance 
  • University traditions and events  
  • Departmental publications 
  • Selected faculty, staff, student and alumni papers that document a specific aspect, era, research or scholarship at the University. 

The Archives collects the following types of materials in print, electronic, and a variety of audio and moving image formats including:  

  • Programs 
  • Books 
  • Newsletters 
  • Magazines 
  • Photographs 
  • Brochures 
  • Pamphlets 
  • Oral histories 
  • Meeting minutes 
  • Reports 
  • Archival copies of student theses 

Materials that fall outside of the scope of the collecting policy are included only when materials specifically support faculty and student scholarship at Saginaw Valley State University. 

Materials not collected 

  • The University Archives generally does not collect secondary or published materials that do not document Saginaw Valley State University or its people.  
  • Research files consisting primarily of photocopies, whether they be of secondary sources OR copies of materials held by another archival repository. 
  • Materials on “deposit.” 
  • Materials to which access is restricted in perpetuity or for a period of time deemed by the University Archives staff to be beyond a reasonable limitation. 
  • Material that is related to a specific person or institution that is already comprehensively covered by another archival institution. 


Acceptance of gifts housed in the Zahnow Library University Archives and Special Collections will be determined by the Library Director and/or the Archivist.  

The acquisitions process for any item or collection is guided by the following criteria: 

  • Size, condition and format of the collection/item 
  • Ability of the University Archives and Special Collections to process, store and preserve it. 

Donations accepted will be acknowledged by a Gift Receipt.  Any restrictions of access requested by the donor for reasons of confidentiality must be noted on the Gift Receipt. 

Materials which are determined to have no permanent value, historical interest, or are surplus to the needs of Saginaw Valley State University will be discarded, or, returned to the donor, if indicated on the Gift Receipt. 


The relevance of materials in the University Archives can and will change over time.  Periodic deselection may be done to identify items which no longer fit the collection criteria for inclusion, that have degraded or that cannot be properly stored, used, and preserved. If this occurs, University Archives staff will deaccession by one of the means below: 

  • Return to the donor or donor’s heirs 
  • Donate to another repository 
  • Destroy 

This addresses established collections and does not include the general weeding and appraisal of materials upon receipt or those materials deselected during processing. 

Revised: April 24, 2019