10 tips for preserving your group’s history

Wesleyan has a terrific tradition of student activism and participation in campus groups. In Special Collections & Archives, we want to collect materials that document student activities so that future researchers can find out what Wesleyan was like back in 2007 (and 2006, 2005, etc.)! The only way for us to gather this material is for student groups to let us know they have items to donate. Contact us at any time for information, supplies (like boxes and folders), and advice. We will keep your materials safe and make sure your events and accomplishments are not forgotten.

Here are ten quick tips for leaders of student groups:

1. Document the activities of your group: keep minutes of meetings, save copies of publications and flyers.

2. Label your materials with full names, dates, and descriptions of events or circumstances.

3. Keep your records together in one central place.

4. Develop a straightforward filing system that works for you. There’s no one best way to do this.

5. Store your records away from dampness, dust, excessive heat, and sun.

6. Avoid using paper clips and rubber bands. If you have documents that need to be kept together, use stainless steel staples or plastic clips.

7. Develop a routine of transferring inactive records to the University Archives at the end of the semester, year, or leader’s term of office.

8. Consider the fate of your non-paper documents. Electronic records can pose software and hardware access problems. Save cds, memorabilia, photographs, posters, and tapes, as well as traditional paper documents.

9. Get to know the staff of the Wesleyan University Archives: Suzy Taraba, University Archivist (x3375); Valerie Gillispie, Assistant University Archivist (x3863); and Linda Hurteau, Archives Assistant (x3859).


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