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Purdue University Northwest Archives and Special Collections

Purdue University Northwest (PNW) Archives and Special Collections mission is to identify, collect, preserve, and make accessible to researchers materials pertaining to the history of PNW.

Archive Policies

The Archives seeks to collect materials from offices, departments, and student organizations. Below is a list of appropriate materials to donate to the Archives:

Chancellor’s Office, records including correspondence, administrative subject files, and reports.

Vice Chancellor’s Office correspondence, subject files, and reports.

Deans’ and Department Heads’, correspondence, reports, brochures.

Administrative and instructional departments’ records of permanent historical and legal value, such as department chairs’ correspondence, meeting minutes, etc.

Accreditation reports and supporting documentation.

Annual budget and audit reports.

Biographical files and published papers of faculty, staff, prominent alumni, and major benefactors.

Records of the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Student Services, Admissions, Registrar, Trio Programs, and Fitness, Wellness and Sports, including reports, class schedules, catalogs, non-current enrollment reports, graduation programs, newsletters, flyers, etc.

Records of the Office of Advancement, the Office of University Relations.

Records of the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Administrative Services and its related departments.

Records of Student Organizations, such as constitutions, programs, flyers, newsletters, meeting minutes, photographs, etc.

Alumni records, correspondence, flyers, publications.

Records of the Council of Faculty Delegates and the Faculty Senate.

All publications, newsletters, or booklets distributed in the name of the university, including catalogs, special bulletins, student newspapers, university directories and handbooks, faculty/staff rosters, alumni magazines, and

Audio-visual materials documenting the development of Purdue University Northwest, such as still photographs and negatives, motion picture films, oral history interviews, and audio and videotapes.

Maps and plot plans documenting physical growth and development on all campuses.

Any materials pertaining to the history of Purdue Calumet or Purdue North Central

Patron Use Rules for Archival Collections

Archival documents represent information that, in many cases, is irreplaceable.  For this reason, the Purdue University Northwest University Archives and Special Collections that you for observing these rules and regulations while using the collections of the university archive and special collections.  If, as a researcher, you are not able to comply with these rules and regulations, you will be asked to leave the archives and special collections reading room.

  • Use of any materials in the archive is subjected to the approval of the archives manager.

  • No food or beverages are allowed in the Archive and Special Collections reading room.

  • No material can be removed from the Archive and Special Collections reading room without being accompanied by an Archives and Special Collections staff member.

  • Photocopies of archival materials are subjected to, but are not limited to, the following:

    • The material(s) are too fragile or damaged

    • Prohibited by the Copyright Laws of the United States of America, the State of Indiana, and/or Purdue University Northwest

    • The original donor placed restrictions on the material(s) that preclude replication

The individual researcher will be legally responsible for the use of all materials, including the infringement of copyright or other ownership rights in the manuscript(s), photograph(s), artistic rendering(s), or other materials (the copyright laws of the United States, Title 17 U.S. Code, applies to all collections in this archive). The archive staff, however, will assist all researcher with obtaining the proper permission to publish all archival materials.

  • No archival material, nor any part of an archival material, may be published or reproduced except with the permission of the archives manager.

  • If permission to publish material(s) from this archive is granted, the researcher must agree to include publishing credit to the Archives and Special Collections by using the following approved statements:

″Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Northwest or Hutton Collection, Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Northwest.″

  • No ink pens or markers are allowed with conducting research with archival materials; Pencils Only.

  • While using archival materials please observe the following procedures:

    • Examine only one box or item at a time

    • Do not fold, write on, or otherwise damage any item

    • Only one folder may be removed from a box at one time

Rules and Regulations Governing the Use of Pictorial Materials

Pictorial materials can be an important and vital addition to archival research.  To ensure the long-term survival of the pictorial material in our collection, researchers are asked to observe the following procedures when working with pictorial materials

  1. Do not bend, write, or place any marks upon pictorial materials.

  2. Do not slide the images or negatives across one another or any surface: these actions can cause damage to the images or negatives.

  3. When holding prints, or negatives, please handle by the edges only

  4. Do not trace any image.

Published photographs and other pictorial material(s) hold copyrights for 28 years, renewable for a second 28 year period.  Unpublished materials are protected by common law and normally may not be published without the consent of the original photographer/creator or their descendants.

Reproduction or duplication of any pictorial material(s) in the Archives and Special Collections may not be done without the permission of the University Archivist.

If prints or reproductions are provided by the Archives and Special Collections, it is to be understood that they may not be reproduced again without permission from the Archives Manager.  It is also to be understood that reproductions provided by the Archives and Special Collections are to be used for the sole purpose indicated on the application completed by the requestor.

Why records will be removed from the Archive and Special Collection: The established mission (scope, content, and collection areas) of the Purdue University Northwest University Archives and Special Collection will act as the primary measure of collection development and deaccessioning (permanent removal) of records. As the Archive and Special Collection’s mission evolves to meet the needs of the university, all records will be evaluated for deaccessioning.

Deaccessioning of records that no longer fit the scope and/or content of the archival collection will be removed and either disposed of or donated to more appropriate repositories according to the following:

Donor’s desires from the Deed of Gift: All donated records to the Archive and Special Collections are accompanied by a Deed of Gift (D.O.G.) that allows the donor to, in the event their donation no longer fits the scope and/or content of the collection, choose how their records will be removed from the Archive. Their wishes, if specifically indicated at time of donation, will be carried out by the Archive Staff. If, however, the D.O.G. does not indicate a specific method of permanent removal, the Archive Staff will dispose of the records in a manner appropriate to the record and its overall value.

Any records to be deaccessioned where there is no explicit disposition plan (as directed in a D.O.G.) or that cannot be relocated to a more appropriate archive will be destroyed as follows:

All paper records: Will be shredded and recycled ensuring those records are never used again.
Non-paper records: Are to be disposed of properly, and that disposal shall comply with all University, State, and Federal guidelines for safe and environmentally friendly dispatch.


Researching in the Archives & Special Collections can seem a bit daunting.  Here are a few tips to help you make the most out of your visit:

Have a good idea of what you want to research.  Let the staff know what topic and time period you want to research. This may mean having a conversation with the University Archivist before your visit to understand what is available for you to see. 

Make an appointment before you come.  Letting the staff know that you're coming will help us prepare the materials you want to see before you get there, allowing you more research time (and less waiting time).  Plus, if you reserve your research appointment in advance, you are guaranteed that we will be open and available.

Bring a camera (but leave the flash off).  We do have some capabilities for making reproductions for you, but many researchers prefer bringing their own cameras (iPhones, point-and-shoots, etc.) to aid in their research.  If you are wanting a high-quality reproduction for publication or print, please talk to the staff.

Leave your food and drinks at the door.    There is a strict no food or drink policy for the Research Room and this goes for all researchers and classroom visits.

Bring a pencil, not a pen.  We request that you don't make any markings on materials, but we also understand that sometimes small accidents happen. For this reason, we do not allow researchers to use ink or pens while doing research. 

Keep track of what you're using.  Keeping accurate citations is vital in archival and special collections research.  Often, your notation of where a specific item is located (e.g., collection, box, folder) is the only way we can locate the item again.  Because of this, it is very important that you work on only one box at a time and you keep files in the correct order.  If you have questions on how to cite archival materials, please ask us!  We're happy to help.