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Dominican University of California Archives

The history of Dominican University of California

Giving Materials to the Archives

Making a Donation

Gifts and donations to the Archives are always welcome. 

However, the Dominican University Archives will not appraise the value of donated materials and we do reserve the right to determine whether donated materials will be accessioned into the collection. Accessioning items into our collection is dependent on how well the materials adhere to our Collections Policy.

If applicable, the Archives will provide a copy of a signed deed of gift.

Depending on the size of the gift or donation, a Vice President, the President, or other University staff may become involved in the acceptance of gifts or donations.

Please review our Collections Policy below. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your gift or donation, please contact the Archives for clarification.

Transferring Materials

If you are another Dominican University of California office and you wish to transfer materials to the Archives, please follow these guidelines:

  • Contact the Archivist before discarding any files and materials.
  • Keep files and materials in their original order.
  • Include a box or inventory list, if possible.

The Archivist will then survey the materials for accession and decide, based on our collection policy, if they can be accessioned into our collection or not. Once materials have been accessioned, administrative custody of the materials will be transferred to the Archives. An appointment will then need to be made to access these materials.

Please review our Collections Policy below. If you have any questions or concerns regarding transferring materials, please contact the Archives for clarification.

Dominican University of California Archives Collection & Appraisal Policy

Statement of Purpose

The Dominican University of California (the University) Archives exists to identify, preserve, and make accessible historically significant records in a variety of formats that reflect the unique culture of the University and support administration, teaching, research, and service. Its scope includes records created or received by the University, its faculty, staff, alumni, students, and administration. Collection areas are outlined below. Access to records for research purposes is at the discretion of the University and the Archivist, according to the Archives Access Policy. 

Collecting Focus

The University Archives collects records related to the history and culture of Dominican University of California that have long-term, indefinite administrative, legal, fiscal or historical value.

These types of records include:

  • Records of campus offices, including academic, administrative, and library offices.
  • Professional and personal papers of the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael affiliated with University activities.
  • Professional and personal papers of select Dominican University Faculty that document the history and operation of the University.
  • Manuscripts and donated records of Dominican University Alumni.
  • Meeting Notes of the Board of Trustees.
  • Publications produced on campus, both monographic and serial, such as newspapers, yearbooks, directories, reports, and newsletters.
  • Photographs, negatives, slides, films, and video.
  • Maps, drawings, blueprints and other architectural drawings, prints, and posters.
  • Ephemera and artifacts where appropriate.

Campus Office Records

Records that the Archives will consider for accession from campus offices include, in many formats:

  • Correspondence.
  • Reports.
  • Minutes.
  • Directives.
  • Announcements.
  • By-laws.
  • Photographs, inlcuding scrap books and photo-albums.
  • Publications.
  • Architectural and building plans.
  • Electronic files.
  • Artifacts.
  • Subject files.
  • Any other material produced by the University in pursuance of its functions. The University Archives works with the Alemany Library to preserve the publications, newsletters, or booklets distributed by Dominican University including graduate and undergraduate theses.

Faculty Records

Records that the Archives will consider for accession from faculty include:

  • Official, professional, and personal correspondence.
  • Biographical material.
  • Photographs.
  • Class syllabi, including online classes.
  • Research files.
  • Departmental or committee minutes and records.
  • Single copies of articles, books, and reports.
  • Written, diaries, and scrapbooks.

Acquisition Guidelines

The University Archives is responsible for:

  • Maintaining records through professional arrangement and description.
  • Ensuring accepted practice for preservation and security.
  • Making records available to students, scholars, and researchers on an equal basis during regular business hours.
  • Securing legal documentation and copyright for every donor gift that makes clear the terms of the transfer and any restrictions

The University Archives is not responsible for:

  • Providing appraisals of the monetary value of donations.
  • Accepting liability for loss or damage of records due to deterioration, fire, or other natural disasters 

The University Archives generally acquires:

  • Records that best illustrate the purpose, activities, functions, and policies of Dominican University of California.
  • Records that are end-products or final reports opposed to drafts or iterations.
  • Records that are inactive or no longer regularly used for routine reference.
  • Records that have been surveyed by the University Archivist prior to transfer.

The University Archives generally does not acquire:

  • Personnel time cards, payroll documents, or confidential files.
  • Day-to-day financial records such as bank statements, canceled checks, receipts, and daily balances.
  • Invoices.
  • Published books, periodicals, or other printed materials not created by or about the University unless they are of unique historical interest.

University records are the property of the University and not of the administrators, faculty members, or staff who create them or to whom they are entrusted. University records should not be destroyed or otherwise disposed of except in accordance with procedures and schedules established by the University records management program.  

Appraisal Criteria

The University Archives follows certain criteria when appraising potential acquisitions. This criteria includes:

  • Department position in institutional hierarchy.
  • Significance of department function.
  • Record completeness.
  • Record authenticity and record reliability.
  • Physical condition.
  • Volume.
  • Date range or coverage.
  • Format and usability.
  • Accessibility and restrictions.
  • Research needs and patterns of clientele.
  • Adherence to the Collection Policy requirements.
  • Available resources

Deaccessioning Activity

Periodic reappraisal of records is a necessary part of collection development and allows for the identification of materials that would no longer be acquired today or appropriate to the University Archives’ mission to preserve and make available its resources to Dominican University students, faculty, scholars, and the general public. This is called deaccessioning and is considered for records that meet one or more of the following conditions:

  • No longer relevant to the University Archives’ mission.
  • Cannot be properly stored, preserved, or made accessible.
  • Unnecessarily duplicate.
  • No longer retains its physical integrity or authenticity.
  • Part of a collection owned or governed by another repository that is publicly accessible.

Deaccessioned records may be transferred to other repositories, returned to donors, offered for public sale, or destroyed. Materials will not be given or sold to Dominican University employees, trustees, or their immediate families. All proceeds from sale of materials will be used to support the preservation or development of the University Archives.

Policy Review

This collection policy is a working document and subject to evaluation and revision according to program growth and evolution. Otherwise, this collection policy shall be reviewed by the University Archivist at the end of the fiscal year every two to three years.


Maher, W. J. (1992). The management of college and university archives. Chicago; Metchuen, N.J: Society of American Archivists; Scarecrow Press.
Oliva, M. L., Association of Records Managers and Administrators, & Society of American Archivists. (2002). Sample forms for archival and records management programs. Lenexa, Kan; Chicago, Ill: ARMA International; Society of American Archivists