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McDaniel College Archives: Archiving Student Life

About this Guide

This webpage provides information to McDaniel College student groups interested in donating their records to the Archives. While this guide is intended for student organizations, the principles outlined can be applied to private donors and other campus departments. 

Student organizations and activities form an integral part of campus life, but are often underrepresented in the College's histories and archives. To elevate the voices and experiences of students, McDaniel College Archives aims to enable and support the long-term preservation of student organizations' records.  

Fill out a Donation Interest Form

 

Browning Literary Society, 1923

Browning Literary Society, 1923

Irving Literary Society, 1894

Irving Literary Society, 1894

Archiving Student Life

Why Donate to the Archives?

  • Preserve your experiences for future Green Terrors
    • Archival collections are the building blocks that researchers and scholars use to tell stories about the past. Donating your records to the archives allows your voice to be heard in history.  
  • Let someone else take care of your stuff!
    • Between classes, extracurriculars, and maintaining your social life, you have enough on your plate without having to make sure your organization's records are being taken care of. Archivist are trained professionals in preservation of all sorts of media types. They can help ensure your records are physically maintained and accessible to future group members and researchers.

What to Donate? Photos, Meeting Minutes, Event Flyers, RecordingsWhat Not to Donate? Active Records, Student Newspapers, Yearbooks, Large Objects

Protecting Students in the Archives

Archival records can be used by members of the community and that should be a factor as you and your group members decide on whether or not to donate to the archives.

The archives automatically restricts documents that contain personally identifiable information and other sensitive information, such as: 

  • Medical information
  • Personal financial information
  • Letters of reference or recommendations 
  • Student academic records
  • Lists of names and addresses
  • Personnel records
  • Documents containing social security numbers

If you have questions or concerns about use and access of your organization's records in the archives, please contact the archivist. 

For tips on donating records that document activism, see: "The Blackivists' Five Tips for Donating Your Materials" 

Before beginning the transfer process, be sure to talk to all your group members. If your organization has questions or concerns, schedule a time for the archivist to meet with your group. 

  1. Contact the archivist! They can help you create a plan for transferring your materials to the archives. 

  2. Organize your records. The archives can supply record cartons and folders for boxing physical materials.

  3. Create an inventory of the materials you are transferring. Be sure to include what box each item or folder is in. 

  4. Complete and submit a Deed of Gift. This document legally transfers the ownership and rights of your records to the archives. It also explains the rights and responsibilities the archives holds for maintaining your records and providing access to the collection. 

  5. Transfer your records via campus mail, in person pick up/drop off, or electronic submission.  

  6. Make a plan for regular transfers. Continue to document and preserve your group's activities.  

Getting Started

  • Document your group's activities. Keep meeting minutes, membership lists, photographs, event fliers, correspondence, and other materials.
  • Keep your records in a single location. 
  • Keep your records organized.
  • Label documents with the "who", "what", "when", "where":
    • Who was involved with this?
    • What happened?
    • Where did it happen?
    • When did it happen? 
  • Designate someone to maintain the records. Make a plan to transfer responsibilities as members graduate. 
  • Store documents in cool, dry, and clean areas.

Quick Tips for Digital Records

  • Be consistent in the format files you use. We recommend the following formats:  
Digital Content File Type
Text-Based PDF
Still Image TIFF or JPG
Audio WAV or MP3
Moving Image AVI or MP4
  • Keep your digital files organized just like your paper ones. Be consistent in file naming and include plenty of information so files can be identified. 
  • Store copies of your digital records in multiple places. If you use cloud storage, consider keeping a back-up on an external hard drive or with another storage provider.