Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: Manuscript and Archival Collections in Special Collections

Written by Lydia Tang. May 4, 2017

Purpose or Scope of Collection

A. Curricular/Research/Programmatic Needs

The manuscript and archival collections of Special Collections support the instruction and research needs of MSU students, faculty, staff, visiting scholars, and members of the general public across a range of disciplines and topics.  The manuscript and archival collections of Special Collections is the primary stop on campus for any class or individual exploring the artistic process of Michigan Writers, the Lansing-area LGBTQ+ community, Women's movements and Men's movements, political activism on the far right and left, Chicanx studies, Africana, and primary source materials on other subjects.  Between class visits and follow-up assignments, the manuscript and archival collections are used by dozens of students, semester after semester, year after year.

B. History of the Collection/Existing Strengths and Emphases

MSU Special Collections was formalized as a department in 1962 and began collecting manuscript materials soon afterwards to complement the historic strengths of the print collections.  Special Collections has a broad collection focus guided by enriching existing strengths within holdings such as Michigan Writers, gender and sexuality movements, radicalism, and Chicano/a affairs. Through donation and purchase, manuscript and archival collections have been acquired from sources around the globe.