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University Archives: Policies & acquisition mandate

Information about how to conduct research at the Mount Allison University Archives


Open By Appointment

The Mount Allison University Archives are open by appointment only.

Please e-mail or telephone 506-364-2563 to request an appointment.


The Mount Allison University Archives are located on the third floor of the Ralph Pickard Bell Library. You can download our campus map (pdf) or get directions on how to get to campus.

Acquisition mandate

The following mandate was passed by the Mount Allison University Senate on 11 October 1984 and the Board of Regents on 5 November 1984.

Acquisition mandate

1. Goals and objectives of the University Archives

a. to appraise, collect, organize, describe, make available and preserve records / manuscripts of historical, legal, fiscal and / or administrative value to Mount Allison University and the broader community it serves.

b. to provide adequate facilities for the retention and preservation of such records.

c. to provide archival reference services that will assist the operation of Mount Allison University.

d. to promote knowledge and understanding of the origins, aims, programs and goals of Mount Allison University.

e. to serve research and scholarship by making available and encouraging the use of its collections by members of the University and the community at large.

f. to foster a program of efficient records management.

2. University records - definition and disposition

a. University records consist of those documents generated by administrative officers and by their staffs in the performance of their duties as university officials or employees, and, as such, are the property of the University.

b. in order to fulfill the goals and objectives of the University Archives the head of each department, budgetary unit or office shall cause to be made and preserved records containing adequate and proper documentation of (i) the organization (ii) functions (iii) policies, (iv) decisions (v) procedures and all essential transactions of the respective department, budgetary unit or office.

c. the University Archives is designated as the official repository for University records.

d. these records shall not be destroyed without the joint approval of the Departmental Head and the University Archivist.  Such property shall be transferred to the University Archives when the Departmental Head and Archivist deem it appropriate.

(i) all University records deposited in the Archives are considered inactive and as such are available for reference and research.

(ii) access rights consistent with the legal rights of all concerned shall be applied.  Records may be designated "restricted" of "confidential" by the joint decision of the University Archivist and either the office of origin or the author of the record.  Such restrictions must be recorded in writing on the transfer of the material to the Archives and shall be for a fixed term.

(iii) persons requiring access to retricted material may make application to the University Archivist and their request will be considered by the University Archivist and either the current administrator of the office concerned or the author of the record.

e. examples of "archival materials" (under (a) above) will include, but not be limited to, inactive items from the following:

(i) minutes, memoranda, correspondence and reports of the Board of Regents and its committees.

(ii) records of the Office of the President including correspondence, administrative subject files, and reports.

(iii) correspondence, subject files and reports of all administrative officers, including Vice-Presidents, Deans of Faculties, Directors of Schools and Programs, Chairs / Heads of Departments.

(iv) correspondence, subject files, and reports of the chief officer of units of the University operating with a high degree of independence such as the Owens Art Gallery, Windsor Theatre, and all Research Institutes and Centre.

(v) minutes, memoranda and reports of all major academic and administrative committees, including Senate and its committees.

(vi) annual budgets and audit reports.

(vii) departmental records including minutes, reports, syllabi and a sampling of tests and examinations.

(viii) personnel records of former faculty and other employees.

(ix) records of the Registrar including non-current student transcripts, enrollment reports, graduation lists and all other reports issued on a regular basis.

(x) reports and records of the following: Alumni Office, Admissions Office, Research Administration Office, Library and Archives, Chapel and the Chaplaincy.

(xi) all publications generated at the University or distributed in its name including: general reports, newsletters, books, monographs, booklets, calendars, special bulletins, yearbooks, student newspapers, directories, faculty / staff lists, alumni magazines and ephemeral materials produced by the University such as brochures, posters, etc.

(xii) publications about Mount Allsion University produced externally.

(xiii) theses and selected student research reports.

(xiv) audio-visual materials produce by and / or about the University to document its development such as: photographs and negatives, films, oral history interviews, audio and video tapes.

(xv) machine readable records.

(xvi) security copies of microfilm produced by any University vital records program.

(xvii) artifacts deemed to complement and enhance the archival collections such as: medals, ceremonial items, plaques, etc.

3. Manuscript collection - definition and disposition

a. the manuscript collection is defined as the "private archives" or unpublished records of individuals or groups other than those of Mount Allison University (whose records are now defined as "University records").

b. in order to build and maintain a manuscript collection which will be of continuing research value the collection policy will be based on the following:

(i) the goals and objectives of the University Archives.

(ii) the strengths of the existing collection and the supporting collections of secondary works (i.e. Bell collection, Mary Mellish Archibald collection, etc.).

(iii) the types and levels of research suppored by the collections (i.e. Maritime and Canadian Studies).

(iv) the clientele served by the collection (i.e. faculty, undergraduates, members of the local community, visiting researchers, other archives and museums).

(v) the collection policies of other archives in order that competition be avoided and research and scholarship served through co-operation and the sharing of information.

(vi) resources available to support bibliographic as well as physical access to the collection (i.e. funding for space, equipment, supplies, staff, cataloguing, indexing, etc.).

c. Manuscript collection policy

Mount Allison University Archives should seek to acquire:

(i) records of individuals, associations, and organizations closely affiliated with Mount Allison University.  For example:

Individuals: Faculty, staff alumni

Associations: Mount Allison Faculty Association, Mount Allison Federated Alumni Inc., Students' Adminstrative Council

Organizations: Crake Foundation

(ii) records relating to regional studies

In order to promote scholarly research, archival materials realted to the historical and cultural development of the Maritime Provinces should be collected.  The focus of the collection should center on the Chignecto Region, Westmorland County, and Tantramar marshes.

d. examples of "archival materials" (under c. (i) and (ii) above) will include but not be limited to the following:

(i) correspondence, diaries, minutes, journals, research notes, deeds, maps, plans and scrapbooks.

(ii) sound recordings, oral histories, films, videotapes, photographs, posters, postcards, broadsheets, ephemera, etc.

e. manuscript materials may be accepted under such terms as agreed upon by the donor and the University Archivist as set forth in a Deed of Gift.

f. collection policies should be reviewed on a regular basis and materials deemed inappropriate to the collection may be disposed of by the Archivist in accordance with established procedures and the Deed of Gift.


Archival Databases

You can search descriptions of the Archives' holdings and photographs from the Picture Collection and related fonds / collections by using our Descriptions Database. See our search tips.

The Chignecto Isthmus Database provides access to historical material on the people and places of the Tantramar region held by the Ralph Pickard Bell Library.

Questions? Ask the University Archivist.

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David Mawhinney
Room 306
Ralph Pickard Bell Library
49 York Street
Sackville, NB E4L 1C6