Michigan State University

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

Factors Influencing Collection Policy

A. Anticipated future trends

The overall emphasis of acquiring archival collections should be with the goal of historical documentation.  Traditionally archives have been very top-heavy, representing nearly exclusively the voices of dominant political parties, ethnicities, and economic powers.  Current archival theory encourages repositories to be active and deliberate in their collecting policies, coordinating with other repositories to ensure reduced gaps in the historical record as well as not duplicating efforts, and instead of leaving the historical record to chance, engaging and assisting underrepresented communities and individuals in generating documentation.  The archives and manuscript collections should complement the research values and mission of the MSU community, aligning with the overarching Special Collections guidelines.  

B. Relationships with other sources

MSU Special Collections is proud to partner with the Africana Library, Turfgrass Information Center, and other subject areas in acquiring, preserving, and providing access for collections which support their research mission.  Special Collections offers professional storage and archival processing, and secure researcher access.  For further information on other library units acquiring or transferring archival collections to Special Collections, please consult the documentation on the Libraries intranet.

C. Relationships to resources treated in other policy statements

Since the archival collections overlap and encompass print collection strengths within Special Collections, please view the collection development policies for the following:

Rare Book Collection

Russel B. Nye Popular Culture Collection

Radicalism Collection

Cookery and Food Collection

Comic Art Collection

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender

Please contact the Head of Special Collections for inquiries on collection development.