Collecting Policy

Collecting Policy Statement | Terminology and Methodology |  General Collecting Information
Subject Areas Collected | University Archives General Collecting Policy

Collecting Policy Statement

This statement was originally prepared in 1990 in conjunction with "Documenting Metropolitan Milwaukee: A Strategy and A Program," a cooperative project of the Archives Committee of the Library Council of Metropolitan Milwaukee which was funded in part by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Minor revisions and stylistic changes were made in November, 1993 and March, 1994.

General Collecting Information

The mission of the Marquette University Department of Special Collections and University Archives, founded in 1961, is to collect, arrange, describe, preserve, and service records of enduring historical value for research, instructional, and administrative use. The archival and manuscript collecting program of the department is an extension of the spiritual, philosophical, and scholarly strengths of the university as a Christian, Catholic, and Jesuit institution. Collecting is focused on the following:

  1. The records of Marquette University and its various units, and the papers of faculty, staff, and students which relate to the history of the university.

  2. Records and papers which document the involvement of Catholic organizations, movements, and individuals in promoting social change in the United States, including change within the Catholic Church.

  3. The records of organizations which document Catholic activity among Native Americans in the United States and records and papers relating to Christianity in rural and urban Native American communities in North America.

  4. The records of Catholic organizations and the papers of individuals involved in Catholic broadcasting (radio and television) in the United States.

  5. The papers of Marquette alumni relating to the collecting areas described above, as well as the papers of alumni who are artists, writers, "popular" entertainers, broadcasters, journalists, or are active in local, state, or national politics as elected or appointed public officials.

Note: Aside from records pertaining to Marquette University and the local Jesuit community, the department does not actively collect records relating to the Milwaukee area. These are collected or accepted only to the extent that they fall within the national collecting scope of the department.

University Archives General Collecting Policy

The university archives collects records in all formats with enduring historical, informational, evidential, legal, or financial values relating to the history of Marquette. Of particular interest are photographic materials which document any facet of the university, as well as films and audio-video recordings relating to sports, entertainment, or other major events. The archives solicits all books, articles, and other publications by members of the Marquette community, including alumni.

The university archives selectively collects the academic and personal papers of faculty, administrators and staff which meet one or more of the following conditions:

  1. The papers are of a particularly unique or unusual nature.

  2. The papers document the activities of an individual whose expertise and professional reputation extends beyond the Marquette community and have national significance.

  3. The papers complement or otherwise enhance existing collections in the university archives.

Acceptance of collections presented for donation which do not meet the above conditions will be made on a discretionary basis. With regard to the topical areas which follow, Marquette solicits faculty papers most aggressively in those subject areas in which the department otherwise collects actively, namely arts and architecture; communications; education; politics, government and law; populations; religion; and social organization and activity.

Terminology and Methodology

The term "Marquette related body," used throughout the statement, signifies an agency or clinic which is related to Marquette, but which is not formally a unit of, or controlled entirely by, the university. Marquette may provide staff in the form of faculty or student volunteers or offer other administrative support. Marquette may or may not be involved in governing the agency.

The terminology used to describe collecting patterns (solicits, collects, and accepts) represents different degrees of acquisition aggressiveness. The term "solicits" indicates that material relating to a topic is actively sought. The term "accepts" means that such materials will be added when offered, although there may be little or no deliberate effort to increase such holdings. The term "collects" falls somewhere in the middle; relevant collections are welcome without necessarily being part of an aggressive collecting program.

The 17 topical subject areas which follow were employed by participants in the "Documenting Metropolitan Milwaukee" project as a means of encouraging a detailed analysis of policies. A topical approach of this nature has been used by the State Historical Society of Wisconsin and any number of other historical agencies and archival repositories.