Archives Collection Policy

The Archives is responsible for acquisition and maintenance of the following materials:

Materials generated by the College

  • All publications of the college.
  • Records of administrative offices and academic departments.
  • Records of faculty, student, and other college-related organizations.
  • Histories of the college.

These records may come in any medium or form: paper (published or unpublished); photographs, discs, architectural or landscape drawings; audio and videotapes; newspapers clippings; or memorabilia.

The following is a list of records and publications which should be collected for the College Archives:

  • All publications, newsletters, brochures, and programs distributed in the name of the college. The Archivist will determine the permanence of these items.
  • Records of the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee of the Board.
  • Records of the President's Office.
  • Records of the Provost's Office.
  • Records and reports of other college administrative offices.
  • Records of all official, permanent or ad hoc academic and administrative committees.
  • Records of academic and athletic departments.
  • Faculty publications, including speeches and papers delivered at meetings.
  • Reports of faculty research projects.
  • Records of student and college organizations.
  • Audiovisual materials, such as photographs, paintings, films, and audio and video tapes, which document the college history.
  • Maps and blueprints which document the growth of the campus.
  • Selected artifacts relating to the history of Kalamazoo College.
  • Reports relating to the college which were generated by external agencies.

Materials generated by individuals connected with the college

Donations from alumni that help to document the history of Kalamazoo College, particularly student life at the college, are sought by the Archives. Photographs, correspondence, publications, reminiscences, scrapbooks, and small memorabilia from an individual's college career all add to the understanding of the college.

The Archives is also interested in material generated from an individual's post-graduation connection with the college. An example of this would be information about alumni who return to speak at Commencement or to receive an award.

Material about the College

Area publications such as the Kalamazoo Gazette or Encore aid in the college's documentation of its history. Library staff routinely clip relevant articles from the Kalamazoo Gazette. Because of the fragile nature of newsprint, original newspaper clippings are not kept in the Archives. Articles from newspapers other than the Kalamazoo Gazette are kept to document the publicity the college receives, or if they are a source of additional information.

The Archives does not typically save articles appearing in the Kalamazoo Gazette about specific sporting events or performances. Researchers wishing to find these articles can use the Kalamazoo Gazette on microfilm or online. An index to the Kalamazoo Gazette is available in the Reference Department for years 1972-1986 and 1989-1998, and the Kalamazoo Public Library also maintains a partial online index. The Kalamazoo Gazette is available online here (current issue plus seven previous days' content), and for Kalamazoo College users, it can also be accessed in pdf format here.


Retention of Materials

Materials are retained in the Archives if they are unique or if they document the history of the college or demonstrate the work and purpose of an office or organization.

One copy of general office material is kept. Two or three copies of every publication are retained, one of which is removed from public use and stored in the Archives. Three copies of programs are retained, which permits occasional use of one copy for display or loan.

Memorabilia is kept only if it is small and distinctive. Shelving and archival resource limitations mean that most clothing items (graduation caps and gowns, athletic uniforms) are not retained.


Donation Agreement

For a significant donation or transfer of materials, a form will be completed with copies for both the Archives and the donor. This form states the Archives' right to determine the usefulness of materials offered to or received for the collection. The donor may also indicate any restrictions imposed on access to the material, as well as final disposition of materials not needed by the Archives (return to donor, pass on to another collection, or discard).

If you are considering making a donation to the Kalamazoo College Archives, please contact the Archivist at (269) 337-7151 or Thank you for thinking of us!