Policy Statements

University Archives and Special Collections

The University Archives and Special Collections Department is the official repository for those records of enduring value that are created by The University of Texas at Tyler. Included herein are not only administrative records, but documentation pertaining to student organizations, departmental activities, and University affiliated events. The UASC also retains Special Collections that aim to preserve and maintain the local history of Smith County and surrounding communities.

The University of Texas at Tyler is committed to managing its records, including its archival records, as outlined in the Records Retention Policy, April 2010-April 2013, and the Records and Information Management Policy.

The following policies apply to the University Archives and Special Collections (UASC) Department at The University of Texas at Tyler:

General Access, Usage, and Management Policies and Procedures

Materials in the UASC do not circulate; access is limited to the reading room only. Researchers wishing to view these materials should make an appointment to ensure there is staff available to assist them. The UASC staff will make every effort to accommodate the needs of researchers when making appointments. Appointments may be made by calling 903.565.5748 or 903.566.7343 or by email at archivist@uttyler.edu.

The UASC is available to staff and students of the University of Texas at Tyler, academic scholars and members of the public.

Circulation/Loans Policy

Original materials from the UASC may be loaned to other institutions/locations on the conditions that the borrower takes full responsibility for the care of the item(s) and covers the cost of transport, insurance and, if necessary, conservation of the item(s) on loan. All loans are subject to the discretion of the University Archivist. Institutions wishing to borrow materials will be asked to sign a memo of understanding with the University and must adhere to the requirements for loan stated on that form.

Reading Room Policy

Individual researchers are responsible for assisting in the preservation of documents deposited in the UASC. The following rules are intended to protect and preserve these materials to ensure that the information they contain is available for subsequent visitors.

University faculty, students, and staff will be required to present their UT Tyler ID and sign in upon each use of the archives. Outside researchers and members of the general public will be required to present and photo ID and sign in upon each use of the archives. All users will be asked to acknowledge that they have read and understood the rules for access and use of the archival materials by signing the Reading Room Policy and Agreement form.

Personal Belongings

All briefcases, backpacks, computer cases, camera bags, purses, personal books, etc. must be checked with the reading room attendant before looking at any materials. Coats and rain gear must, and any garment removed after entering the reading room must also be checked with the reading room attendant. Cell phones should be turned off or on silent while in the reading room.

Use of Materials

Pencils only are permitted for taking handwritten notes. A pencil will be provided if the researcher does not have one. Researchers may use laptops that have been removed from their cases (and checked with reading room attendant).

Researchers must exercise every precaution to prevent damage to materials. Materials must not be marked on, leaned on, folded anew, traced, or handled in any other way likely to result in damage. Loose sheets and bound pages should be handled gently by their edges to prevent soiling surfaces of materials.

Documents and bound materials must lie flat on the table. They are not to be placed in the lap or propped against the edge of the table.

No more than five boxes may be requested at one time. Only one box may be used at the reading room table at a time. Additional materials may be kept on a book truck or at the reading room attendant’s desk.

Only one folder may be removed from a box at a time. Researchers will be given blank paper indicators to maintain the existing order and arrangement of the materials. Users must also ensure the existing order of materials within each folder. If you suspect an error in the materials you are viewing, please call it to the attention of a UASC staff member. Researchers should never re-arrange materials.

Materials to be scanned will be indicated by enclosing pages between blank paper markers. Files with materials to be copied will be returned to their proper box location and the entire box will be taken to the reading room attendant’s desk. Researchers must also fill out the UASC Request for Service form in order to receive scans and/or copies. For same day service, requests must be completed and given to the reading room attendant 30 minutes prior to the UASC closing. Same day service requests are also limited to 20 or fewer pages.

As an alternative to photocopying/scanning, digital cameras may be used (without flash) to capture information contained in collections. Permission to use digital cameras and photograph materials must first be obtained by the University Archivist

University Archives Policy Statement

Collection Scope and Review of Policy

The University Archives, which date from 1971 to present day, currently comprise the institutional archives of the University. The University Archives serves to collect in addition to institutional materials, those materials relating to aspects of student life, faculty development, and research.

Acquisition Policy

The University Archives seeks to collect records of enduring value to support teaching, learning and research at The University of Texas at Tyler and the wider community, including:

    • records that document the policies and activities of the administration and the office of the President
    • records that document the policies and activities of the University faculty
    • records that document student life
    • records that document the development of the University in teaching and research
    • records that relate to the University’s role within the local community
    • additional records included in the University’s official Records Retention Policy that are slated for archival disposition
    • any additional records found to be relevant through periodic completion of an institutional records survey.

All types of media including paper, photographs, electronic records and sound records by internal transfer, gift or purchase of permanent value created by the University will be collected.

Special Collections Policy Statement

Collection Scope

The Special Collections at the University of Texas at Tyler’s Robert R. Muntz Library refers to all materials contained within the University Archives and Special Collections Department that are not included in the scope of the University Archives.

Manuscript collections as part of the Special Collections cover all kinds of unpublished written records and many contain published and pictorial records as well, rather than just “handwritten” materials. These records include: letters, diaries, notebooks, speeches, lectures, drafts of books and articles, research or reference files, cutting books, photographs, drawings, minute books, agenda papers, logbooks, financial records, maps and plans.

Many archival record groups and manuscript collections also contain artifacts among other more traditional visual and textual materials, such as a campaign button filed with the flyer documenting the political rally at which it was acquired.

The UASC holdings include, but are not limited to, the Sarah McClendon Papers, the H.J. McKenzie Papers, the Billy Williamson Papers, and the William Steger Papers.

Local Significance

The University Archives and Special Collections Department aim to develop local history collections; these resources prove to be significant assets in the study and teaching of the cultural heritage of the surrounding area. The focus of these collections is on the history of Tyler and Smith County and, as appropriate, spreading out to include the region of Northeast Texas. The UASC reserves the right to collect unique items of broader cultural or historical significance on a case-by-case basis.

Acquisition Policy

The University Archives and Special Collections Department may acquire by gift, bequest, loan, trade or purchase any record, regardless of physical form or characteristic, which has any bearing on the history of Tyler, Smith County, and the region of East Texas through negotiation with the persons giving, bequeathing, lending or selling the records. In certain cases, the UASC may also collect books and artifacts deemed “rare” in cases of gifts or bequests.

The University Archivist endorses all policies, priorities, strategies and practices at the University Archives and Special Collections Department in accordance with the mission and scope of the UASC. All policies created by Deirdre Joyce, 7/2007, updated by Terra Bianchi, University Archivist, 7/2011.