Carleton College Archives' Mission

The primary purpose of the Carleton College Archives is to gather, preserve, and make available for institutional reference and public research use documentation and information pertaining to the work, history, and development of Carleton College, or about programs, policies, activities, events, persons, or groups associated with the College.

Basic to the central functions of the Archives are the following core responsibilities:

  1. To determine the ultimate disposition of Carleton's institutional records. Specifically, to select for archival preservation College records of enduring and significant informational value, and, conversely, to approve the timely disposal of those records without sufficient continuing legal, fiscal, administrative, or historical usefulness to justify the costs of maintaining them.
  2. To solicit and collect, within the parameters of the Archives' written collecting policy, additional records, papers, publications, photographs, and other relevant material from student organizations, faculty, alumni, or other persons outside the College's administrative structure.
  3. To establish and maintain systems of physical and intellectual control over archival collections, such that the records are physically protected and preserved against environmental and other hazards, as well as efficiently retrievable for reference and research use.
    • opportunity to consult archival records (within the parameters of the Archives' written policy on access),
    • assistance and guidance as to the probable locations of desired information or as to the use of particular records, and
    • responses to queries concerning the nature, extent, or content of archival records, or for specific pieces of information which are locatable in archival records without an excessive expenditure of staff time.
  4. To provide an array of informational and other services to all users, minimally including:
  5. To support the institutional mission of Carleton College by accommodating, where staff resources permit, special requests for active assistance in the preparation of institutional publications, programs, studies, exhibits or presentations, or in the undertaking of research to satisfy administrative informational needs, or in the planned instructional use of the Archives as an educational resource where students may be exposed to techniques of research in primary sources.
  6. To communicate knowledge and promote awareness about aspects of the history of Carleton College, especially among members of the Carleton community, but also in society at large, and to broaden knowledge and awareness about the College's archival resources among potential users or donors of material.