/ Hope College Archives and Special Collections

Records Management

We preserve Hope College's historically valuable records.

All records produced in the daily course of business at the college are subject to state and federal regulations, including retention and disposal. The Archives classifies, stores, secures, retrieves and destroys these records, as appropriate.

Staff members moving boxes around

Records Policy
  1. All records that are generated by or received in the course of official college business conducted by College offices and employees are College records and the property of Hope College. Included within the term "records" are all documentary materials regardless of media (paper, diskette, audiotape, etc.) or characteristics (printed, typed, manuscript, audio-visual or machine-readable).
  2. No College records may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of without the approval of the official in charge of the originating office and the College Archivist.
  3. The Archivist shall survey all records created by and in the custody of each administrative and academic department on the campus. In cooperation with each office, schedules shall be prepared for the retention and disposal of all records. Pursuant to responsibilities, the Archivist shall have the right of reasonable access to and examination of all disposable current College records, excepting the contents of restricted documents.
  4. All material of enduring value, when no longer in current use in the office to which it pertains, shall be transferred to the College Archives.
  5. Selected office files should be transferred to the Archives as they have been arranged in use, since their organization reflects the functions and activities of the office that created the records.

In addition, the Archives shall collect and preserve published works by Hope College faculty, staff and alumni.

Guidelines on Value of Records

Records, both paper and electronic, are created daily in campus offices and departments. The majority of these records are intended for a specific purpose and are only needed for a short period of time. Other records, such as files on grants or extended projects, may be active for longer periods. Within both types of records, some files will continue to have legal and historical value for documenting the activities of the College beyond their original purpose.

Records of permanent historical and archival value to the College include:

  1. Primary papers of the President, Vice Presidents, and Deans' offices. These records include all statements of policy, reports, correspondence (other than routine thank yous and acknowledgements), speeches, committee minutes, publicity materials, business files, and memoranda (including email as appropriate).
  2. Records from administrative and academic offices: correspondence, annual reports, final grant reports, self-study reports, policy statements and planning documents, symposium or colloquium files, newsletters and publications.
  3. Faculty meeting minutes.
  4. College publications - Catalogs, newspaper, yearbooks, literary magazines, newsletters, brochures, programs, posters.
  5. Films, recordings, tapes, and photographs produced by the College, including samplings of such records done as part of teaching programs.
  6. Course syllabi.
  7. Faculty and alumni publications.
  8. Student organization records: minutes, publications, photographs.
Transfer and Storage Procedures

Review files annually for files scheduled to be transferred or destroyed.

For files to be transferred to Inactive Storage:

  1. Before sending records to the Archives, contact the Archives. If approved for transfer, boxes can be requested at that time
  2. Place file folders in box as filed in drawer. Do not use hanging folders. They don't fit the boxes and are an expensive way to store records. Do put records in labeled folders.
  3. Place a Transfer Label on the outside of the box that was provided by the Archives, marking each with the appropriate number (eg: 1 of 1, 2 of 10)
  4. Contents list:

    Prepare a list by individual folder title or groups for each box. The list will be used in retrieving records as needed in the future. The office must keep a copy and send the original with the materials. An electronic version must be sent to the Archives at archives@hope.edu.


    Box 1
    President's Office, 1984-1995
    General File, 1984-1994
  5. Physical Transfer of Materials:

    The Archives will contact the Physical Plant to make arrangements for pick-up and delivery. The department contact will be copied on the Work Order so that their staff can watch for the records pick-up.

Reference Services and Access to Records

The College Archives will provide information about, copies of and/or the original documents as required for the business of the college and for research in accordance with limitations or restrictions established in the retention schedules. When necessary, the office of origin or its successor may withdraw on loan any records which it has deposited with the exception of very fragile and rare items to be supplied in copy.

In addition to preserving records, information service is a prime function of the Archives. The Archives shall take suitable measures to arrange and prepare finding aids for the records and to answer questions from any Hope College office or employee. The Archives will provide reference service to faculty, alumni, students and visiting researchers interested in the Archives and manuscript collections. The Archives will also assist faculty with bibliographic instruction related to primary research activities as needed.

To request the return of records or to get information from records:

Contact the Archives. We will need the name of your department, the title of the record, and the folder label.

Restricted records:

Any records designated as "restricted" by a department or office are accessible only to the appropriate staff.