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Transfer Guidelines for University Archives

The records of CSUN provide a rich source for historical research and support current administrative needs. The following guidelines are intended to assist faculty and staff in identifying those portions of their files that are appropriate for transfer to the Oviatt Library's Special Collections and Archives.

This document is intended as a general guide. If questions arise about records not listed here, or about the retention or disposal of specific records series, please call the Special Collections and Archives unit at the Oviatt Library at (818) 677-2832 or send an email to oviattsca@csun.edu.

We recommend and prefer annual or biannual transfers. Materials should be transferred in the order in which they were created and maintained in the campus office. A Records Transfer Authorization form should accompany all transfers.

Records commonly transferred to the University Archives include:

  • Constitutions and bylaws, minutes and proceedings, transcripts, lists of officers of University corporate bodies.
  • Office Files: correspondence and memoranda (incoming and outgoing) and subject files concerning projects, activities, and functions.
  • Historical files documenting policies, decisions, committee and task force reports, and questionnaires.
  • Publications: one record copy of all newsletters, journals, brochures, monographs, programs, posters, and announcements issued by the University or its subdivisions; the University Archives should be placed on college, department, and office mailing lists to receive all future publications.
  • Audiovisuals: photographs, films, sound, and video recordings.
  • Personal papers of students, faculty, and staff that relate to CSUN's work.

All information formats are appropriate for consideration for transfer. For documents in formats that require machine intervention, such as videotapes or computer files, consideration should be given to transferring the equipment needed to access the documents or, preferably, converting the documents to a format accessible to University Archives staff and patrons. Early consultation with the Special Collections and Archives Librarian is encouraged for such materials.

Records that generally should not be transferred, but scheduled for disposal after consultation with the Special Collections and Archives Librarian include:

  • Records of specific financial transactions.
  • Routine letters of transmittal and acknowledgement.
  • Nonpersonally addressed correspondence such as "Deans and Directors" memoranda (Except for one record copy from the issuing office.)
  • Requests for publications or information after the requests have been filed.
  • Replies to questionnaires if the results are recorded and preserved either in the Archives or in a published report.

Items that may be discarded directly from the office when they are no longer needed for administrative purposes include:

  • All blank forms and unused printed or duplicated materials.
  • All other duplicate material: keep only the original copy and any annotated copies.
  • Papers, reports, working papers, and drafts that have been published.
  • Artifacts and memorabilia. The University Archives collects nondocumentary objects related to CSUN's history on a limited basis, especially in cases of great importance, manageable physical size, and good condition. Please call the Special Collections and Archives Librarian to discuss options for preservation of such objects.