Established as a department of the Library in 1980, the University Archives’ chief purpose is to acquire, preserve, and make accessible the official historical record of the University. University Archives collects the records of University departments and offices that are of enduring and historical value once they are past the period of active use. Examples of documents collected and accessioned by the University Archives include: presidential papers, memoranda, council minutes, proceedings, Faculty Senate minutes, records of the Board of Trustees, records of grants and proposals, documents related to University sponsored programs and activities, University budgets, publications of student organizations, and the school newspaper.
University Archives does not accept, and cannot house, any University records that are still in use, whether active or inactive. Offices and departments are advised to ensure that they have no current or frequent need for any records intended for transfer to University Archives. Records sent to University Archives that do not to fit our purpose will not be retained. Examples of University documents that are not collected or stored by the University Archives include: student records, individual vitae of faculty, records of monetary gifts to the University, University bank statements, purchase orders or receipts, and personnel records. As a public collection open to anyone, confidential documents of any kind cannot be accepted.
The Archives Librarian, under the direction of the Associate Dean of Libraries, retains the responsibility and authority in determining which records will be housed in the Archives. The Archives Librarian establishes and maintains procedures to help ensure that only appropriate documents are transferred to the Archives to be processed and included in the collection. Those records and documents sent to the Archives that lack historical relevance will be returned or discarded.
The University Archives primarily collects documents in paper format. Digital formats may be accepted, but they will be evaluated by the Archives Librarian for their historical and enduring value.
The Library encourages the support of all University departments in developing this valuable collection to document our University’s history.
ORGANIZATION OF THE NEIU ARCHIVES
University Yearbooks, catalogs and class schedules, the University newspaper, and a small library are located on the back wall of the Archives Office. Documents in their respective record groups are filed on the shelves. Photographs and other non-print materials are outside of the Archives in file cabinets against the east wall of the library's lower level.
HOW THE DOCUMENTS ARE ORGANIZED
Libraries classify books with a catalog number and/or letter based either on the Library of Congress or Dewey systems. Archives classify documents based on the provenance (source) of the records, which are then filed into record groups.
The Northeastern Illinois University Archives organizes materials based on the University department of origin. Each University department and office has been assigned its own record group using an alphabet system. For instance, the Office of the President is record group 'D," so all materials received from that office will be filed into the "D" record group. The classification of the document is further broken down into a series, sub-series, and format.
Example: A memo from President Ronald Williams. This would be classified as: Record Group D, Office of the President. Series 2, University President. Memo, 51. The label on the folder containing the memo would read D 2/51.
University Archives materials do not circulate, but photocopying is permitted. An NEIU ID card, driver's license, or some other sort of identification must be left with a member of the Archives staff when materials are taken out for photocopying.