The University Archives exist to preserve and make accessible the official historical records of AdventHealth University.
Our future depends in part on our ability to remember our past, to learn from it, and to build on it. Without the tangible records of the past, history can be quickly forgotten. In keeping with the University’s four vision words—Nurture, Excellence, Spirituality, and Stewardship-- the University Archives preserve the tangible records of the University’s history and make the records available to the University community so we do not forget the past.
Providing members of the AHU community access to the University’s history will give them the opportunity to understand the foundation on which their current experience is built. This contributes to their personal and professional development.
History is an important aspect of academic excellence. The University can use its history to demonstrate its constant commitment to high quality education, to build on its accomplishments, and to learn from its failures.
As a Christian institution, AHU believes that God is directing our actions. But His leading is not always clear in the moment. A complete and accurate historical record allows us to look back at how God has led us in the past so we can thank him for his guidance and strengthen our faith during present trouble.
Caring for the University’s historical records is an integral part of stewardship. Preserving our records demonstrates good stewardship of what we have created, and the resulting archives provide a source of information for evaluating how we have used our resources.
The R. A. Williams Library shall house and maintain the University Archives. Direct responsibility for organizing the collections and providing access to the University Archives rests with the head of special collections and archives.
Collection Development Guidelines
The archives collects items based on three primary criteria:
Significance to the University
Need for access
The general rule for applying these criteria is that materials of significance to the University are added to the archives if they are rare (meaning not being collected by other archives) or if there exists a need for ready access. The archives collects materials in a variety of formats, including, but not limited to:
Where practical, the University Archives retains the materials in the original format. Materials may also be duplicated in another format to facilitate access. However, the primary concern is long-term preservation.
The University Archives collects anything of significance to University history that fits the selection criteria given above, including University publications; committee minutes; faculty documents such as portfolios, course syllabi, and scholarly works; and departmental documents.
The heads of individual departments identify documents and submit them to the library for inclusion in the University Archives. If a department keeps its own archive of materials, duplicates of the materials need not be submitted to the library, though the department head can do so. But if the department decides to no longer keep materials in its archive, those materials should be submitted to the library rather than discarded.
In general, the contents of the University Archives are open to faculty, staff, and students of the University, and outside researchers. However, some materials in the archives may have restricted access. The contents of the University Archives fall into three categories of access.
Records in this category are open to researchers without restriction. Open access records include publications issued to the general public at the time of their creation, such as announcements, official college publications, calendars, and brochures. Open access records will be identified as such.
Files Containing Personal Information
Records that contain personal and confidential information about an individual or individuals are closed for 75 years from date of creation or until the death of the individual mentioned in the records. During the restricted period, the University Archives may grant access if the named individual gives permission in writing. After the restricted period has elapsed, researchers may apply to the head of the University Archives for access to these materials. Information that is part of the public record about an individual is available for research.
Records of the administration of the University are restricted to use by the originating department for 25 years from creation. Officers of the University or administrators of the originating departments may waive this time period at their discretion. After the restricted period has elapsed, the records are added to the open access collection.
Additional Restrictions on Access
Some records have additional restrictions to access. Records of the board of trustees may be consulted only with the written authorization of the President of the University or the chair of the board.
Access to particular documents may be restricted if access constitutes an invasion of privacy or opens the University to legal liability.
The University President may also seal records when it is in the best interest of the University. Sealed records may be opened only with the written authorization of the President or the chair of the board.
Access to the materials in the University Archives entitles individuals to view the materials. If an individual wishes to publish all or part of document, he or she must receive permission from the administration of the University.