UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Faculty Papers and the University Archives

Faculty Papers are Fundamental to Documenting the History of the University

The nature of academic institutions is such that individuals play a key role in shaping policy. Operational and departmental lines of authority are often blurred within the university and, given this institution's strong tradition of faculty governance, understanding and documenting the work of faculty members in all facets of the university is essential.

What faculty governance and committee records does the University Archives collect?

We emphasize collecting those records that are particularly important to the history of the university, and we seek your assistance—especially from departmental and committee chairs and others serving in administrative capacities—in collecting materials such as:

  • standing and ad hoc faculty committee chair's files
  • departmental executive committee meeting minutes and actions
  • divisional committee minutes and actions
  • departmental faculty meeting minutes
  • departmental chair correspondence and subject files
  • course proposals.  
What else should faculty members retain for the Archives?  

We urge that those faculty members who have made major contributions to their discipline and/or to the university to contact the Archives. We are particularly interested in materials that: 

  • document an individual's career at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls
  • expand on the faculty member's relationships with his or her colleagues in the academic discipline at other institutions
  • preserve a record of committee responsibilities or other activities within the university community
  • support research discoveries or projects
  • document teaching (e.g., one copy of lecture notes, syllabi, course outlines, reading lists, exams and correspondence with students).

Materials may be in a variety of types and formats (including electronic), including some of all of the following: 

  • correspondence and subject files,
  • reports (whether printed or not),
  • diaries,
  • photographs and slides,
  • lab notebooks,
  • scrapbooks,
  • sound recordings, 
  • artifacts.

What doesn't the Archives collect from faculty?

As a depository for primary source documents, the University Archives generally does not collect secondary or published materials.  While many faculty members have extensive reprint or book collections, unless items are of unusual significance (e.g. annotated by a major scholar in the field) the Archives does not retain them.  We urge faculty members to work with Lisa Pillow of the Chalmer Davee Library, or with their professional associations to find appropriate homes for their reprint or book collections.

The University Archives and Area Research Center does, however, collect books written by UWRF faculty members. Please contact us to see we still need a copy of any of your publications.

The University Archives generally does not collect materials related to people's personal or family lives, including such things as personal financial records, canceled checks, or correspondence with family and children.  A faculty member's personal and family papers, however, may be so closely related to his or her career that it is best to maintain the entire collection in the Archives.

Other documents are captured directly from the relevant offices, so we are not interested in student academic information, grades, class rosters, etc.  We also have limited facilities for preserving large artifacts or memorabilia, but please ask if it is something you think is especially important for the University's history.

If you are uncertain about whether to incorporate a particular record item with your papers, or if you have other questions, please contact the University Archives.  We are always happy to advise you about the disposition of your papers.

When in doubt, please don't throw it out!  Contact the Archives first.      

How does one prepare materials for transfer to the Archives?

It is best if you can pack the records in standard cubic foot storage cartons (sometimes called bankers boxes). The material, if paper records, must be in file folders. Please do not send hanging files; transfer the material to labeled manila folders.

Edward Peterson, 1978
Edward Peterson, 1978

Contact Us

University Archives and Area Research Center
170 Chalmer Davee Library
(715) 425-3567
archives@uwrf.edu