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Columbia College Archives

The Columbia College Archives is the institutional memory of Columbia College.

Archives Description and Mission

The Columbia College Archives is the institutional memory of Columbia College. It began to be assembled in 1997 and consists of documents, media, and objects pertaining to the college. It is located in three rooms in the basement of Dorsey Hall. Its mission is to acquire, arrange, describe, conserve, interpret, and make available to researchers archival materials that pertain to Christian/Columbia College.


The purpose of the Collection Development Policy is to define the scope of the Columbia College Archives in accordance with the mission of the Archives and Columbia College.


The Archives have the following purposes:

  • To acquire, arrange, describe, conserve, interpret, and make available primary source materials that document the history of Columbia College.
  • To support the learning, teaching, and research needs of Columbia College students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other researchers.


The Archives collects institutional records, publications, and other historical materials documenting the history of Columbia College from its inception to the present that have continuing administrative, fiscal, legal or historical value. Formats include audiovisual, print, digital, and objects.

Materials Collected by the Columbia College Archives

College Administrative Records

Including, but not limited to correspondence, memoranda, minutes, summary financial records, academic research, curriculum, contracts, reports, subject files, published materials, photographs, and any other material generated or received by the administrative and academic offices of the College in the conduct of its business.

Columbia College Community

Including student activities, alumni organizations, organizations of faculty and administrators, and other College related groups. Such materials are essential complements to official College records. They may take a variety of forms, including books, news clippings, manuscripts, maps and posters, motion picture films, audio and videotape, and artifacts and objects.

Personal and Professional Papers of Prominent People Associated with the College

Including College officers, faculty, students, alumni, and benefactors. These manuscript collections may include materials relating to issues of historical significance outside higher education as well as professional academic activities, research and teaching, and educational theories and practices during the lifetime of the college. This collecting area also extends to the papers of individuals and organizations where the subject matter of the collection is particularly relevant to the history of the College, institutions of higher learning and intellectual life in America, particularly Missouri and the Midwest, and the Columbia community.

Special Collections

The Jane Froman Collection contains clothing, recordings, and correspondence.

The Historical Costume Collection contains clothing made by the fashion department as well as clothing donated by alumni.

Accessions Policy: Donations

Donations will be retained when their content contributes to the purpose of and meets the guidelines of the accession policy of the Archives. Donations are accepted only when the donor places no restrictions on the housing, handling or disposition of the item. The Archives will provide a letter of acknowledgement of donations for tax purposes if requested, but monetary appraisals are the responsibility of the donor.

The donor must complete a Deed of Gift form which transfers the physical ownership to the Archives.

Accessions Policy: Transfers

Materials may be transferred from Columbia College departments with the Record of Transfer form if those items meet the guidelines of the accession policy.

Accessions Policy: Donations and Transfers Guidelines

The Archives will use the following guidelines when deciding whether to accept a proposed donation or transfer:

  • The donor created or owns the materials.
  • The donor is willing to sign a Deed of Gift that transfers ownership to the Archives.
  • The items fall within the collecting scope.
  • The subject (person or group) represented in the items played an important role in the college community.
  • The items show historical value.
  • The items are not already represented within the Archives’ collection or add depth to the existing collection.
  • The items have research value.
  • The size of the items must fit within available space, and the preservation of items must be congruent with current facility and staffing limitations.

Accessions Policy: Acceptance of Gifts

If the proposed gift meets the listed appraisal conditions, the following process will be followed:

  • Donors will be required to complete a Deed of Gift for donated items stating that donated materials become the property of the Archives and may be removed from the collection in accordance with the de-accession guidelines.
  • Restrictions on accessibility to researchers will be agreed upon at the time the Deed of Gift is signed.
  • The Archives will not make guarantees to donors about the exhibition or use of donated materials.

Accessions Policy: Columbia College Archives Does NOT Collect

  • Damaged materials or infested by insects or mold.
  • Materials in which the donor’s ownership is in question.
  • Duplicate materials.
  • Materials not related to Columbia College.
  • Materials not deemed to have lasting historical value.
  • Materials for which the Archives is unable to provide storage or preservation.
  • Permanent loans of materials not owned by Columbia College.
  • Materials that include restricted personally identifiable information.

Accessions Policy: Cooperative Agreement

The Archives reserves the right not to collect material related to a specific person or institution that is already comprehensively covered by another archival institution.


The development and maintenance of the Archives is primarily managed by the assistant library director and other library staff.


Supplies will primarily be purchased for the Archives from the archive budget. Acquisition of materials will be by transfer or donation.

Removal from the Collection

The Archives reserves the right to dispose of materials inconsistent with the collection development policy.

The following types of material are subject to removal from the Archives:

  • Materials that no longer meet the accessions policy guidelines.
  • Materials that become damaged.
  • Duplicate materials.
  • Materials that would be better suited to another institution’s archives.

Any items removed may be returned to the donor, discarded, or donated.

Access to the Collections

The Archives are open by appointment under the supervision of library staff. Digitized materials are available 24/7 on the college repository.

Archive Collections May Contain Offensive Materials

Some of the materials collected may include content that is offensive by today’s standards. The photos and language published in the past reflect the values and standards deemed acceptable at the time.

Policy Review

The collection development policy will be periodically reviewed and modified as appropriate.

Thanks to Rebecca van Kniest from Fontbonne University Archives for assistance with the policy format.