II-500 ARCHIVES POLICY
- MISSION OF THE ARCHIVES. The primary purposes of the UW-Madison Archives are: to preserve university records and information of permanent historical value; to provide records management services; and to serve as an educational resource encouraging administrative and scholarly research in its collections. As part of General Services, the University Archives reports to the vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost. Its governing policies are approved by the campus Archives Committee (Faculty Policies and Procedures 6.24). Operating policies and procedures employed to carry out the mission of the Archives are based on the “Core Mission and Minimum Standards for University Archives in the University of Wisconsin System,” endorsed by the Board of Regents in 1980.
In carrying out its mission the University Archives:
- is an official state depository of records. In 1985 the Archives was designated as the official depository for all records of permanent value of the UW-Madison, the System Administration, the UW-Extension, and the Center System.
- develops, maintains and distributes a manual which outlines procedures for offices to meet their responsibilities for records management and preservation and to gain access to university and State records services.
- in consultation with appropriate campus offices, provides efficient and economical records management services; determines administrative, financial, legal and historical records preservation needs within the university; and serves as intermediary between university offices and the State of Wisconsin Public Records and Forms Board.
- appraises, accessions, arranges, describes and preserves records transferred to its custody while providing access to its holdings, in accordance with accepted professional archival principles.
- cooperates with state and national archival, historical and records management professional organizations on behalf of the university to keep informed on major issues of concern to the profession and participates in networking arrangements to share resources with other research institutions.
- ROLE OF DIRECTOR OF THE ARCHIVES. The Director of the Division of Archives has the working title of University Archivist and is responsible for arranging the retention/disposition of records transferred to the custody of the Archives, approving records retention policies, and providing general advice and guidance to university offices concerning the preservation of their historical papers and materials. The Director establishes working policies and procedures as necessary to carry out the functions of the Archives.
- DEFINITION OF UNIVERSITY RECORDS. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is subject to the definition of public records [Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 16.61(2)(b)]. This statutory definition applies to all official records created and/or maintained by university offices. All official public records must be scheduled for retention/disposition in accordance with Wisconsin Statutes 16.61, subject to approval by the Public Records and Forms Board. No department or other office may destroy any public record without the permission of the Board and University Archivist.
Because of the wide range of responsibilities carried out by members of the faculty, their public papers contain a unique combination of professional, research and instructional documentation. While certain portions of faculty papers are covered under the statutory definition, other portions are traditionally considered private papers. The Archives collects both the public and private faculty papers and will provide assistance to faculty members regarding the disposition and preservation of their records.
- ACCESS/REFERENCE POLICY. Like all other offices of the university, the Archives is subject to the provisions of the Open Records Law [Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 19.35]. Records in the Archives are open without restriction unless they have been closed or otherwise restricted by statute or other legal agreement. The use of the University Archives is governed by “UW Archives Reference Policy and Rules,” dated January 1988.