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Collection Guidelines & Development Policy

The Canisius College Archives collects historically significant materials related to the history of the College. 

What Do We Collect?

Non-current items: Generally this refers to materials more than two years old. The exception would be items of immediate historic importance that may otherwise be lost if not collected at the time of an event (e.g. commencement invitations and programs; Contemporary Writers Series posters/programs; Arts Canisius posters/programs; Di Gamma, Regents Ball invitations, programs, tickets; Ignatian Scholarship Day presentations/posters, etc; student newspapers, club brochures/programs/flyers, etc.)

Format: Archives is not restricted by format or size of items it collects. The subject matter is is evidence of the history of the College. Items may be paper, audiovisual or electronic, if their subject matter is deemed appropriate.  For example, we have photographs, scrapbooks, audiorecordings (e.g., vinyl, tape, cassette, CD, etc), expression of art and textiles.

Records Management: The Archives does not serve as the official records management program for the College.  Financial, legal or operating material pertaining to student accounts,  personal employment information (including tenure packages) are maintained by other departments as part of their daily business. 

If items such as these are mistakenly sent through transfer of other materials, we make every effort to return them to the office of origin. As a final resort, they are shredded.

The Archives collects significant materials that support the institutional history of Canisius College.  The Archivist is available to physically review material before it is sent to us.

For further information regarding the use of Archives and Special Collections click on Policies & Forms in the left-hand blue box. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

What Material Should be Given to the Archives?

  • Official records:  Office of the President, vice -presidents, deans, directors and department Heads (records that reflect the formal policies of the administrative unit as a whole, not individual or personal records)
  • Approved minutes: departments, official college committees, faculty meetings, student organizations, including USA, etc. Wwe are particularly interested in receiving student organization minutes and plans.
  • Publications:  Books and articles by Canisius authors past and present. Faculty articles MUST be from peer reviewed journals. Books and articles about Canisius College.
  • Photographs. Of the College, buildings, people, and events relating to Canisius College or occuring at the College.
  • Memorabilia and mementos. Collected by students during the course of their college experience (e.g., orientation shirts, bobbleheads, key chains, mugs, etc.…anything that gives a sense of student activities at the College and popular trends). Also, from campus offices, including alumni, and athletics given as a memento of a specific event.
  • Programs: of College events (i.e., official events, awards ceremonies, student productions, special study programs).

Please call the Archives before sending materials to arrange the transfer. Tip: Sort materials to remove duplicates.

What Materials Should Not Be Given to the Archives?

  • Current files 
  • Individual files from retiring faculty. The exception is official departmental business of historical significance
  • Routine academic departmental information: ie., job offers to candidates, list of projects, purchases, etc.
  • Individual student records, tests, papers or grades
  • Information that originates from organizations outside of Canisius College. (i.e. personal correspondence or reactions, or substantial comments on college issues—unless it relates to the history of the College in some highly important way.
  • Financial, legal, or business transactions routinely processed through the College business offices.

The Archivist is available to physically review the material before it is sent over.

How and When Should Materials be Transferred to Archives?

Items may be boxed and sent to the Archives office, sent through interoffice mail or through e-mail as an attachment. Please call to make sure someone is here to receive materials. Materials should NOT be left at the Circulation or Reference desk on the first floor.

  • January and June are preferred times to transfer materials. At the close of semester, departments often “find” materials of historic significance.
  • Call Archives ahead of time, especially if you have several boxes. 
  • Most important, please be certain to include contact information (i.e., department name, person forwarding materials and phone number; and  provide a list of materials with the date range they represent.

What Happens Once Material is Given to the Archives?

  • The Archives keeps record of all materials added to the collection. This ensures a solid record of provenance including the date the materials arrive for permanent care.
  • Any restrictions regarding use of the material should be discussed prior to donation. Otherwise, once processed, the collection will be made freely accessible to all interested researchers.
  • Use of the Archives collection is by appointment. All records are kept securely locked when Archives staff is not present. Other library staff is unable to access the Archives or Special Collections for patrons. This practice ensures that Canisius’ history will be conserved and preserved for years to come.
  • Materials held in Archives do not circulate. Please do not ask to borrow materials. Use is on-site only, or via photocopies or scanned images, when appropriate.

Who Should Be Called for More Information?

Please call Archives and Special Collections to discuss this information or any questions related to the collections or  its use. Archives is available for classroom instruction upon request.

Archives Office main phone number- 716-888-8421

Kathleen DeLaney – Archivist, Ext. 8421 or