The Saint John's University (SJU) Archives collects, describes, displays, and preserves the organized body of permanent records created or received in connection with the transaction of SJU affairs.
Collections and manuscripts are selected for preservation in the Archives primarily because of their historical research value. Materials accessioned will generally document the history of the SJU, its community, and activities. (Note: Materials pertaining to Saint John's Abbey are in the Abbey Archives.) Historical collections and manuscripts accessioned by the Archives may include memorabilia, records, printed documents, photographic images, maps, graphic materials, and other historically significant materials in other physical and digital forms. The historical resources of the Archives are available for public use, unless otherwise specified in the donor agreement.
The SJU Archives welcomes offers of privately owned materials that document the history of the University. Gifts to the Archives are considered outright donations to be used in the best interest of the Archives. Donations become the sole and irrevocable property of the Archives.
Unless otherwise restricted by copyright or by the donor and agreed to by the Archives at the time of acquisition, all literary rights are conveyed to the Archives. All donor access and use restrictions and conditions will be specified in the donation agreement. The Archives can assume no responsibility for abuse of literary or copyright restrictions by users of research materials.
Retention and Access
Because no individual or institution can predict or govern the changing attitudes of future generations, the Archives reserves the right to reevaluate and reappraise historical material in its holdings and to deaccession them when appropriate. Deaccessioned collections and items weeded from collections during processing, due to duplication, irrelevance, limited use, or deterioration, will be offered to the original donor or his/her agent if so requested at the time of donation. If the donor wishes not to reclaim the material or cannot be located, the Archives reserves the right to offer the material to other depositories or discard the items. Any material declared expendable must be approved by the Archivist.
Donations of historical material may be tax deductible. However, the Archives cannot appraise donations for tax purposes. For the protection of the donor, it is recommended that such appraisals be done by a disinterested third party and before title to the material is conveyed to the Archives.
Materials to be donated should fit within the general parameters of the Mission of the SJU Archives. While there are many worthy historical collections, the Archives cannot accept all donated material. The Archives reserves the right to refuse a collection that exceeds its financial and materials resources to care for it, or that has too high a maintenance cost in proportion to the probable research benefits.
The Donation Process
Because the research value of historical materials may be diminished if items are removed or rearranged, donors are encouraged to contact the Archives before discarding or rearranging materials. Archives staff members work with the donor to identify historically significant materials and prepare them for transfer to the Archives. Before the physical transfer of materials can occur, legal title to the materials needs to be transferred from the donor to the University. This is done via a gift agreement, which also details any restrictions on access. For further information on gift agreements, please see the Society of American Archivists' A Guide to Deeds of Gift.
If you have questions or would like to discuss donating materials to the College of Saint Benedict Archives, please contact the College Archivist (320-363-5019) or email [email protected].
(adapted, with permission, from Springfield College Archives and Special Collections)