University of Leicester Archive: Selection Policy

Background

1.1 The University of Leicester Archive is the body of documentary material produced by the University itself, which has been selected for permanent preservation because of its research value and as evidence of the establishment, development and most significant functions and activities of the institution.

1.2 This Policy recognises the Records Retention Schedule created by the team to inform the processing of the University’s current and semi-current records. The archive service aims to integrate its selection criteria with the retention schedule and achieve harmonisation between the two processes. This policy aims therefore to complement the University Archives Collections Management Policy, and records management framework.

Scope

2.1 The Selection Policy applies to all records created or held by the University of Leicester, its predecessors and affiliated bodies, and to records deposited by former staff and students of the University. It applies to all records, irrespective of format, including digital or erecords (both born digital and digital surrogates)

2.2 The University of Leicester Archive also includes complementary material which is not part of the core institutional archive but documents aspects of the lives and careers of individuals associated with the University such as former staff and students. These are not the records created as part of their official duties (which would be processed as part of the core institutional archive), but in the course of their subsequent career or in other aspects of public and private life. Different selection principles apply to these records and these will be developed and formally agreed at a later point.

Purpose

3.1 The purpose of this Selection Policy is to inform decision-making on the selection of institutional records for inclusion in the University of Leicester Archive. Responsibility for decision-making on archives selection lies with the University Archivist but this policy and its appendix are available to staff throughout the university with responsibility for implementing the retention schedule and who may as a result be identifying material for potential transfer to the University of Leicester Archive.

3.2 This policy notes that institutional archives generally comprise less than 10% of all records generated or held by the creating body1.

3.3 The aims of the Selection Policy are as follows:

  • To articulate the principles underpinning decisions concerning which documentary material is worthy of permanent preservation as part of the institutional archive.
  • To ensure that the strategic aims of the University Archives Collections Management Policy are met.
  • To assist the Archives and Special Collections team in achieving consistency of decision-making, ensuring that material of genuine archival / research value is identified, retained and managed as such.
  • To ensure that material that is not worthy of permanent preservation as part of the institutional archive is identified in a timely fashion and appropriate disposal arrangements made.
  • To complement the retention schedule in guiding staff throughout the university who are tasked with decision-making on recordkeeping practices on the types of material of potential interest to the University of Leicester Archive.
  • To promote accountability in the ongoing management of the University of Leicester Archive.

Selection principles

4.1 When selecting records worthy of permanent preservation, decisions should be guided by the following principles and with reference to the retention schedule.

  • Records of continuing value to the ongoing business of the University will almost certainly have the greatest potential archival value.
  • In most instances, records that demonstrate how policies and strategic plans for the University were formulated, developed and implemented are of a high archival value. Day to day transactional material, such as paid invoices, is of less value.
  • Where possible archival retention decisions will be made at series level; for example, a series of committee minutes will be selected, rather than individual minutes of particular meetings.

1 https://www2.archivists.org/glossary/terms/a/archival-value

Version 3.01 July 2014