University Archives Policies

P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library

Introduction

The University Archives are part of the Special Collections of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library, located on the 5th floor of the Briscoe Library at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio.  Access to the University Archives is by appointment only as some materials are in remote locations and must be retrieved.

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of the University Archives is to identify, preserve, and make available for research records that document the origins, development, programs, policies, and collections of the UT Health Science Center as well as the history of medicine in San Antonio and South Texas.

Definitions

Institutional records: all documentary materials, regardless of physical format, that are created or received by staff members in the course of doing their jobs, including handwritten, typewritten, or computer-generated documents; photographs; clippings from newspapers and magazines; audio-visual materials; architectural records; university publications; etc.

Archival records: those materials that are no longer regularly used by the office that created or received them, but which have lasting administrative or historical value making them worthy of long-term preservation.

Inactive records: those that receive little use in ordinary circumstances and have no long-term value.
Non-record materials: published materials (e.g., books, pamphlets, brochures) not generated by the university and not dealing with the history of the university or medicine in San Antonio and South Texas; surplus copies of university publications and articles about the university; and ephemera.

Personal papers: Some individuals keep in their offices materials relating to their personal activities. These should be kept separate from records that are created in the course of their work for the university. If the papers relate to professional activities, university personnel are encouraged to offer them to the Archives, as personal research and writing can increase understanding of university collections and activities.

Records Policies

Ownership
All Archive records are property of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and may not be destroyed or removed from the library except for purposes of digitization or copy for display in exhibits.

Creation and maintenance

Each UT Health Science Center department head is responsible for the creation and maintenance of records that document the activities under their jurisdiction and transfer of inactive records of archival value to the Archives. Archival records are kept in their original order; staff should be diligent about preserving the order and integrity of current files. Departments should contact the Archivist whenever historic records are no longer needed in the office of origin before files are dismantled or transferred elsewhere.

Scope of the Archives Collection

The University Archives contain publications, papers, photographs, and other records that document the history of the university itself. A secondary area of interest includes records documenting the history of medicine in San Antonio and South Texas. Included in the collection are publications of or about the university, correspondence of key officials, printed materials produced by an office or department of the university, minutes of meetings, bound dissertations and theses by graduate students (one copy), student yearbooks, manuscripts and personal papers of prominent San Antonio physicians, records about the history of medicine in San Antonio and South Texas, photographs, oral histories, some artifacts, etc. Records of the university which have historical or archival value but no longer have administrative, fiscal or legal value to their originating offices are transferred to the University Archives. Records are maintained permanently there and become the property of the Archives.

Collection and Retention of Archival Materials

Archival materials will be collected according to the following policies:

  • UT Health Science Center Archives
    • Publications of or about the university.
    • Internal records of offices and departments of the university. The offices of highest priority are those of the President, the deans of the individual schools, the Vice-Presidents, the Office of External Affairs, and South Texas Technology Management.
    • Printed materials produced by an office or department of the university (brochures, etc.)
    • Bound dissertations or theses by graduate students of the university (one copy)
    • Original non-print materials produced by or about the university (selectively).

Manuscripts

Personal papers of prominent individuals associated with the Health Science Center or the history of medicine in San Antonio or South Texas.

Archives of other institutions relating to the history of medicine in San Antonio or Texas

Photographs

Photographs relating to the Health Science Center or to the history of medicine in San Antonio or South Texas will be actively solicited. However, unidentified portraits of individuals will not ordinarily be accepted.

Oral History

Oral history interviews with prominent members of the Health Science Center community, the Bexar County health sciences community, and the South Texas area will be recorded as possible. The personal papers of those individuals will also be solicited.

Memorabilia

Artifacts related to the history of the Health Science Center or to the history of medicine will be accepted selectively but not actively solicited.

Duplicates

Duplicate copies of archival materials will not ordinarily be retained. Exceptions are made for published materials likely to have high reference use (student yearbooks, for example).

Acquisition and Transfer of Records

Health Science Center administrative and office personnel are requested to contact the Records Management Officer of the university before disposing of inactive records or sending non-current material to storage if they feel the records contain information of historic value. Records marked on the Health Science Center Records Retention Schedule with an I in the Archival column must automatically be sent to the Archives, not destroyed or sent to the Warehouse. Those marked with an O should be reviewed by the archivist to determine their value to the Archives.

When records are transferred to the Archives, contents of each records box must be listed on a transfer list by the office from which the records are being transferred using the Archives Transfer List form. The records should also be listed on the Disposition Log for the office with “Archives” listed as the method of disposition.

The Records Management Officer provides the transfer list to the Archives when records are transferred and maintains a listing of records transferred. The Request for Transfer of Records to University Archives should be completed by the Department Head. Records transferred to the Archives become property of the Archives.

Management

Professional archival standards will be followed in the care and management of the archival collections.

Access

Access to the Archives will be provided to Health Science Center personnel, area health professionals, and visiting scholars. Restrictions may be imposed on sensitive records or series of records, particularly those covered by FERPA or HIPAA regulations, to protect privacy rights.

Archival records may be viewed by appointment only Monday – Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm in the P. I. Nixon Reading Room on the 5th floor of the Briscoe Library. Visitors planning to arrive after 4:30 pm should contact archival staff ahead of time to ensure materials are ready for use as materials will not be retrieved at that time. Users should be prepared to show proper identification (university ID card or a government issued ID). Purses, briefcases, and folders must be placed in designated areas. Only paper, pencils, laptop computers, and digital cameras may be brought into the reading room. Cotton gloves will be provided by archival staff for handling of very rare materials.

Services

The Archives provides a reference service for the Health Science Center community and researchers and a repository for the preservation of historically important university records. Archival staff will photocopy and/or digitize materials for users. There is no charge for UT Health Science Center personnel. Non-UT Health Science Center users will be charged $25.00 per picture digitized. Fees may be charged for digitization of other materials, depending on the purpose and the amount of materials requested.

Approved by Rajia Tobia, Executive Director of Libraries, November, 2008

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