Collecting & Acquisition Guidelines

Special Collections has benefited from thoughtful and generous gifts that support the ongoing acquisition, care, and promotion of our collections. If you would like to donate books, manuscripts, or memorabilia that support or complement our collections, please contact us to determine if we are the correct repository.

You may also peruse our collection development policy to see if your donation is appropriate to the collecting mission of the Institute Archives.

Please Contact Us – Records will not be accepted unless the delivery is confirmed with Archives’ staff.

The Institute Archives is charged with the collection and preservation of Institute records possessing permanent administrative, legal, fiscal, and historical value.

The decision to preserve records for administrative, legal and fiscal purposes is the responsibility of the Institute’s officers and administrators in consultation with the Institute Archivist. The decision to select and preserve records of historical value is the responsibility of the Institute Archivist. The purpose of collecting such records is to provide documentation of the development and growth of the Institute, particularly of its primary functions of teaching and research, its role in the community at large, the activities of its student body and alumni, and the development of its physical plant and grounds. Priority is given to those records that reflect the activities of Institute offices and committees which formulate or approve Institute or division-wide policy as well as faculty and administrative involvement in these activities.

Recorded information documenting the above activities is collected regardless of format, and includes: administrative papers and files; pictorial materials; sound recordings; printed material; maps; motion picture film and video tape.

The following steps must be completed before a records transfer:

  1. Review Guidelines for Depositing Records in the Institute Archives and follow the instructions for preparing records.
  2. Download our Records Transmittal Form and complete one form for each box of records that will be sent to the Archives.
  3. Arrange for the records transfer by contacting Moving & Transportation Services, x8256.

The ability to retrieve records deposited in the Archives is dependent on the information offices provide. Care must be taken to properly prepare records and complete the appropriate forms when the records are transferred. Archivists are available to answer any questions and offer assistance.

Contact us: Monday-Friday, 9-4.
Email Us
phone: 276-8340

I. Preparing records:
a.) One cubic-foot sized boxes called “records center boxes” must be used to store records. These boxes can be obtained from the Institute Archives, (x8340). For records that will not fit into these 12″x10″x15″ boxes, alternative storage methods may be arranged with the Archives.
b.) To simplify future retrieval of records, prepare records according to the guidelines listed below:

  1. Follow assembly instructions on boxes or call the Archives (x8340) for assistance. Do not tape boxes.
  2. Remove records from binders that are taller than 10 inches. Binders taller than 10 inches will not fit into records center boxes. Place records in labeled file folders.
  3. Remove records from hanging folders. Place records in labeled file folders.
  4. Remove rubber bands from records.
  5. Pack folders upright in the records center boxes. Letter size (8.5 x 11in.) materials can be stored in one direction, legal size (8.5 x 14 in.) materials in the other.
  6. Keep records in the order in which they normally are filed in your office. Do not attempt to revise the alphabetical, numerical, chronological, or other order of your records.
  7. Fill each box to capacity but do not overfill.
  8. Number each box consecutively on one end of the box rather than on the top.
  9. Start a new numerical series with each shipment sent to the Archives.

II. Records Transmittal and Inventory Sheets:
Records Transmittal and Inventory Sheets account for items deposited in the Archives. This form is available on the Archives web site (see link below). The completed form can be saved as a Word file and sent as an email attachment to The form should be filled out by the person in the office who prepares the records for transfer. You must keep a completed Records Transmittal and Inventory Sheets in your office. Records Transmittal Form

Records Transmittal and Inventory Sheets should be completed in the following manner:

  1. Name of transmitting office
  2. Address of transmitting office
  3. Name, campus address, email address, and office phone number of person preparing shipment
  4. Box number and folder title
  5. Copy the Records Transmittal and Inventory Sheet for your files. Place the original sheets in Box 1 of the shipment. Do not tape sheets to the top of boxes.

III. Transportation:
The office depositing records in the Institute Archives must arrange for transportation of packed records to the Archives. Contact Moving and Transportation Services, ESS (x8256) then confirm with the Archives (x8340) the date and time of the transfer.

IV. Accession Numbers:
Upon receipt of records, the Institute Archives will assign each shipment an accession number. The office depositing records will be notified of the accession number and any inventory revisions. This accession number must be used by the office in all communications with the Archives.

Did you know you can deposit the records of your student club or organization in the Institute Archives? It’s true! We can collect, preserve, and provide access to a wide range of materials documenting your group and its activities. We collect records of enduring value, such as:

  • Constitution, bylaws, and other governing documents
  • Meeting minutes
  • Membership lists
  • Correspondence
  • Budgets
  • Newsletters and other publications
  • Items that document events & activities
  • Photographs, scrapbooks, etc.

Transferring records to the Archives offers many advantages to student organizations. It helps maintain a historical account of membership and activities in a secure location. We can help organize records so you can easily find what you’re looking for. And we provide ongoing access to club members, historians, and others interested in the organization. It’s safe, it’s easy, and best of all, it’s free!

We would love to help you figure out the best way to preserve your group’s history.

Not willing to part with your records? Then consider adding material to the RPI Student Life Collection – a collection of pamphlets, posters, programs, brief histories, newsletters, flyers, etc.

If you’re interested in learning more about our services, please contact our staff at:

Email Us
Fixman Room, 3rd Floor, Folsom Library


A number of student clubs have already transferred materials to the Archives, and an alphabetical list is available online. Just browse our collection guides and look under “RPI” or “Rensselaer,” then follow the links to see detailed information. Or, see the list we’ve created:

Student Groups’ Collections

Back to top