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Special Collections & Archives

University Archives, History and Records

University Archives: Finding aids

University of Idaho History: A bibliography

University of Idaho History: A timeline

Campus Buildings


University Records

Archival records are those which document the policies and procedures of the University of Idaho and its staff. These records may include correspondence, minutes, memoranda, ledgers, photographs, maps, computer files, and other forms of primary documentation. The transfer of permanently valuable records to the Department of Special Collections and Archives is authorized in the Faculty-Staff Handbook (Sec. 6540). University records management functions are provided by the Records Management Department of Finance and Administration.

As a public agency, the University of Idaho has a unique responsibility for the maintenance of certain records for the long-term. Not only are the actions of University staff and officials subject to inquiry; but the contributions of faculty, staff and students to the people of the State of Idaho are less likely to be overlooked if adequate contemporary records are maintained.

Efficient office practice requires that materials of transitory or momentary significance should not be inter-filed with materials of permanent long-term utility. At the end of each year, non-current records (usually those over five years of age) should be transferred to the Archives if of permanent value (or to the wastebasket if of transitory value). Transitory materials for most offices include invoices, vouchers, IDG's, travel forms, computer printouts, and informational photocopies.

A Records Transfer Form provides a simple, efficient mechanism for the transfer of permanently useful records to the University Archives. Copies are available upon request from the Department of Special Collections and Archives.

Each group of records having a common filing system or organization should be described on a separate form. The original order of the records is extremely important for all future uses of the records; please make sure that records are placed in the boxes in the same order that was maintained in the file cabinet, and that the boxes are sequentially numbered and the original folder headings retained. Confidential materials should be so marked on the inventory for evaluation.

Upon arrival in the archives, records are appraised for their permanent value, recorded in an accession register, and shelved to await processing. During processing the records are returned to their original arrangement if that has been disrupted, and inventoried, reboxed and refoldered into acid-free containers and folders, weeded of extraneous materials and duplicates, and prepared for research use. A copy of the completed inventory is returned to the office for future reference.

Offices may telephone reference requests to the Archives. Researchers using records in the Archives are required to register, identify the nature of their research, take extreme care of the physical materials they are given to examine, and request permission to publish or quote from the records. In accord with state, federal and university regulations, some material is not available to researchers without special permission.

If you have questions about archival records and record-keeping, please call the Department of Special Collections and Archives (5-0845) or send E-mail to <libspec @ uidaho.edu>.

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