- I. General Policy
- II. Collection Policy
- III. Gifts Policy
- IV. Cooperative Collection Development Efforts
The objects housed in the Archives are non-circulating materials. Some of them are in fragile condition and irreplaceable; hence, certain precautions are necessary:
- No food or drinks allowed in the Archives.
- No materials are to be taken from Archives without the permission of the archivist.
- Archives patrons may be required to leave an ID card with the Archives staff while using materials from the collection.
- The archivist reserves the right to inspect all research material and all personal articles before a patron leaves the area.
Appointments are recommended and may be made by calling 617-824-8679.
The principal goal of the Emerson College Archives is to collect, preserve, describe, exhibit, and make available to students, faculty, staff, and qualified researchers materials that record the operation of the College and the activities of faculty, students, alumni, and administrative staff.
Scope of Materials
The following are materials collected by the Emerson College Archives:
- Correspondence, minutes, committee files, printed material, scrapbooks, financial records and associated papers, photographs, films, videotapes, and sound recordings.
- Materials in any format concerning Emerson College affairs, including essential records generated or received by the various administrative and academic offices of the College in the conduct of official business.
- Materials in any format related to faculty, student, and alumni organizations.
- Personal and professional papers and materials of selected faculty, alumni, and staff members that document a specific aspect or era in the Colleges' history.
- Any publications created by or for Emerson College, including yearbooks, student and departmental newspapers, catalogs, annual reports, and various literary and humorous magazines.
- The College will selectively collect materials related to the American Comedy Archives, including oral histories, publications, photographs, scrapbooks, video, and sound recordings.
- Published books on the history of Boston or Emerson College. Photocopies of publications will not be accepted.
- Materials related to individuals not directly connected with the College but involved in fields related to the curriculum will be collected on a case-by-case basis.
The Emerson College Archives is happy to accept donations that fall within the scope of its collection policy. Any collection accepted commits us to the task of organizing and preserving it, which involves hand labor and costs for archival supplies. Donors are encouraged to include a monetary donation to fund the cost of processing and preserving their materials. Due to limited staffing, budget and space, all donations or gifts are subject to review by the Head of Archives and Special Collections or the Executive Director of the Library and may be declined. Partial collections are discouraged, but may be reviewed at the discretion of the Archives. The Emerson College Archives reserves the right to decline any collection for the following reasons:
- Inability of the Archives to provide suitable space, staffing, supplies, and equipment. While the lack of one or more of these does not constitute a compelling reason for refusing archives and manuscripts, deficiency in one or more may constitute grounds for a temporary delay in their acquisition. During periods of severe deficiency in any of these areas, the Archives will give priority to new accessions of internal records whenever possible.
- Inability of the Archives to provide sufficient support to preserve and provide access to archival records.
- The collection contains materials that do not fit within the scope of the Emerson College Archives.
- Photocopies of materials donated to another repository will not be accepted.
- Materials irreparably damaged or infested by insects or mold will not be accepted.
- Materials in which the donor's ownership is in question or disputed will not be accepted.
- Duplicate materials will not be accepted due to lack of space.
- The Archives will not accept permanent loans of materials and will not assume liability for materials not owned by Emerson College.
Once a donation is accepted, a deed of gift must be signed by the donor specifying the materials to be donated. This deed of gift will be negotiated between the donor and Emerson College. Special conditions may be specified by the donor, but the Archives may refuse any donation in which it deems the conditions of use overly restrictive.
Donors may make arrangements to examine the material they have donated and can be given a copy of any inventories, finding aids, or other research materials produced by the Archives about the donated material.
Emerson College is a nonprofit organization and has been granted tax-exempt status by the IRS. Donations may qualify as tax-deductible. This, however, does not permit the archivist to appraise gifts. Under IRS regulations, no library, archive, or museum can perform an appraisal. A list of appraisers will be provided upon request.
The Emerson College Archives will work with other institutions involved in similar efforts, as appropriate.