The University of the West of Scotland holds a growing number of Archives, a Local
History collection and a Rare Book collection all housed within the Special
Collections Department of the Library. Work began on establishing the University’s
archives in 2001 with the initial writing of finding aids/calendars and the archival
arrangement and cataloguing of the University’s archives and special collections.
The Special Collections Department is housed in the Robertson Trust Library and
Learning Resource Centre of the Paisley campus.
Definition of Terms
The following terms are used in this policy:
Also called historical value, continuing value, enduring value and permanent
value. In general, the value of records for future use as evidence of past
activities and for historical research.
Original records which have been selected for permanent preservation because
of their continuing value, especially those materials maintained using the
principles of provenance, original order and collective control.
The Archivist is responsible for appraising, acquiring, arranging, describing,
preserving and providing access to records of enduring value held by the
The process by which an Archives permanently removes accessioned
materials from its holdings either by transferring them to another institution,
returning them to the depositor, selling or destroying them. Also called
A person or organisation that transfers custody of historical records to the
Recorded information that has been fixed in any form or medium, which has
content, context and structure, created or received by a person or organisation
in the transaction of business or the conduct of affairs.
Methods of Acquisition
The Archives may acquire records in the following ways:
Legal ownership of records is transferred to the University Archives.
Records are purchased from the owner or from a reputable dealer (purchase
will only be made of records of outstanding importance to the University).
Internal transfer from a University department.
Custody and responsibility for the records is transferred for a fixed, or in some
cases indefinite period to the Archives, whilst the depositor retains legal
ownership. Specific agreements on the nature of the loan and any conditions
of use or access will be made on a case-by-case basis.
The aims of the University of the West of Scotland Archives are:
To assist and promote the study of the past through use of archives, in order
to inform present and future generations.
To assist and promote lifelong learning through the use of archival material.
To collect and preserve records of historical interest or research relevant to
research interest of the University of the West of Scotland.
To collect and preserve records of historical or research interest relating to
the town of Paisley and surrounding areas.
The objectives of the University of the West of Scotland Archives are:
To acquire, preserve, catalogue and make available primary source materials
of continuing evidential value.
To make the University’s archives and special collections accessible and
promote their value as an educational resource.
To preserve new and existing records for current and future use.
The University of the West of Scotland Archives seeks to collect original and unique
archival material that reflects the broadest possible issues and concerns to support
teaching and research in the University of the West of Scotland and the wider
community. Records can be internally transferred, deposited on long-term loan,
gifted and under exceptional circumstances, purchased.
The University of the West of Scotland Archives seeks to acquire:
University related Records
Records of research value to the University
To acquire personal papers of individual educationists such as policy-
makers, researchers, writers and thinkers that will increase the range and
depth of the collections held by the Archives.
To acquire records of research projects and initiatives; (these records have
usually been created by individual staff and students or groups and societies
related to the University of the West of Scotland).
To acquire records of University staff including official, professional and
personal correspondence; biographical material; research files; class lecture
notes, diaries, notebooks and other related memorabilia (subject to appraisal
criteria, e.g. national or international reputation in their respective academic
To acquire records of University staff and student societies (minute books,
pamphlets, leaflets, membership lists and other related memorabilia).
To acquire records of corporate bodies such as trade unions; societies;
special interest groups; professional bodies and associations.
Records not Acquired
Records where quantity outweighs the quality of the information which the
Records where the preservation/conservation costs necessary to allow
access, outweigh the historical value of the records.
Records held in a non-paper format requiring skills or equipment beyond the
University’s resources to interpret, preserve or access.
Records closely associated by provenance with those already housed in
another archive repository.
Records which are still in current or semi-current use by their originator(s).
Collections of mainly published material not falling within the definition of archives
may be offered to the University Library’s Special Collections Department.
It is a condition of acceptance that all records be non-current.
It is a condition of acceptance that there be no unnecessary restrictions on
access or availability for research.
It is a condition of acceptance that the depositor must have the authority to
transfer the material and sign a formal deposit agreement.
It is a condition of acceptance that the records either become the property of
the Archives or its responsibility to be administered as it sees fit.
Finding aids may be required with larger deposits where the size of the
collection is likely to render the records inaccessible until processed.
The purpose of the University of the West of Scotland Archives is to collect and
permanently preserve records of historical value relating to the University and its
immediate geographical location, in accordance with this Acquisition Policy. A
periodic review of the records held, (in the light of research use of the records) shall
be carried out. Records held which may fall outside this policy should be removed
from the University Archives (de-accessioned). Only material that clearly falls
outside the conditions of the Acquisition Policy outlined above may be de-
The University Archives accepts the principle that there should be a strong
presumption against the disposal by sale of any records in their ownership and shall
seek a more suitable repository if it is considered that the records would benefit from
relocation. Only records chosen for de-accessioning, which cannot be transferred to
another repository, or returned to their original owner, shall be destroyed.
The University of the West of Scotland reserves the right to review and alter this
policy at any time.
The University Special Collections Librarian will review this Acquisition Policy
within three years (prior to May 2011).
The University Archives is grateful to receive any information from within the
University or externally, suggesting possible sources of records to complement
existing collections. Please contact the Special Collections Librarian, Allison Watson
(tel: 0141 849 4240 or email firstname.lastname@example.org)