Collection policy

I.            Introduction

II.           Core Mission

III.          Collection Development

    1. Official records, papers and publications of The Lawrenceville School
    2. Records related to members of the School community
    3. Lawrenceville Authors Special Collections
    4. Artifacts relating to the history of the School
    5. Materials the Stephan Archives does not collect

IV.         Donations

I. Introduction

The Lawrenceville School’s Stephan Archives serves as the final repository for the historical records of The Lawrenceville School. Its primary purpose is to document the history of the School and to provide source material for administrators, faculty, students, alumni, and other members of the School community, as well as scholars, authors, and other interested persons who seek to evaluate the impact of the School’s activities on the history of American social, cultural, and intellectual development.

II. Core Mission

The core mission of the Stephan Archives is as follows:

    • To appraise, collect, organize, describe, make available, and preserve records of historical, legal, fiscal, and/or administrative value to The Lawrenceville School
    • To provide adequate facilities for the retention and preservation of such records
    • To provide information services that will assist the operation of the School
    • To serve as a resource and laboratory to stimulate and nourish creative teaching and learning
    • To serve research and scholarship by making available and encouraging the use of its collections by members of the School and the community at large
    • To promote knowledge and understanding of the origins, aims, programs, and goals of the School, and of the development of these aims, goals, and programs

III. Collection Development

On November 4, 1908, the Lawrenceville School designated that an official storage space (then located in Memorial Hall) for the school archives be established. Today, the School’s archives are located in the Stephan Archives in the Bunn Library.  The Stephan Archives’ collections policy is based on the Society of American Archivists’ Guidelines For College and University Archives (1983), which calls for the preservation of School records for the purposes of:

    • maintaining a clear account of School life and achievements, administrative policy and actions and educational programs
    • reinforcing an image of the School that stimulates financial support and encourages an appreciation of the School’s past and its role in the history of American higher education among students, faculty, and alumni
    • making available a body of records useful for student, casual, and scholarly research in history and other disciplines.

The records of The Lawrenceville School are voluminous. In the absence of systematic records management, the Archives must rely on the cooperation and support of administrators, deans, directors, faculty, students, and alumni to ensure that materials of historical value are collected and preserved. The School Archives will promote school-wide records management and collect material in the following categories from all administrative and academic units of the school with the exception of the Health and Wellness Center, which maintains a separate archival collection.

A.  Official Records, Paper and Publications of The Lawrenceville School

Official records encompass the records or papers generated or received by the various administrative offices of The Lawrenceville School in the conduct of their business. These records will include:

      • Minutes, memoranda, correspondence and reports of the Board of Trustees
      • Records of the Office of the Head Master, including correspondence, administrative subject files and reports
      • Correspondence, subject files, and reports of the Deans of Academics, Faculty, Residential Life, and Students and other such administrators as will be appointed
      • Correspondence, subject files and reports of the offices of central administration, including Admissions, College Counseling, Day Student Office, Financial and Administrative Services, and the Registrar
      • Correspondence, subject files and reports of the offices of the individual academic departments, and academic programs including Educational Support and Advising, International Programs, Multicultural Affairs, and Performing Arts
      • Correspondence, subject files and reports of the offices of supporting departments, including Alumni and Development, Athletics, Buildings and Grounds, the Bunn Library, Communications, Dining Services, the Health and Wellness Center, Information Technology Services (ITS)
      • Minutes, memoranda and reports of all major academic and administrative commissions, councils and committees including the Faculty and its committees
      • Departmental records, including: minutes, reports, correspondence, and syllabi
      • Examples of student work
      • Accreditation reports and supporting documentation
      • Annual budget and audit reports
      • Records of the Registrar, including timetables, class schedules, enrollment reports, graduation rosters and other reports issued on a regular basis
      • In-active student records
      • Alumni records, including minutes of the alumni associations
      • Records of student organizations
      • All publications, newsletters and booklets distributed in the name of The Lawrenceville School, including catalogs, special bulletins, yearbooks, student newspapers, School directories and faculty/staff rosters, faculty and administration newsletters and publications, alumni publications and ephemeral material
      • Photoprints, negatives, slides, audio and video film, tapes, reels, oral history interviews, scrapbooks and optical and compact discs documenting the development of the School
      • Maps, prints and architectural drawings documenting the physical changes and development of the School
      • Electronic records representing any of the above contents

The official administrative records of the Lawrenceville School (correspondence, reports and subject files) designated as archival should be inactive and no longer used in the current activities of the originating office. Records should be forwarded to the Archives after consulting with the archivist for the orderly transfer of non-current materials. An inventory of records transferred should accompany accessioned material. The originating office may place restrictions on access to non-current records in addition to the restrictions on administrative, Board of Trustees, employee and student records described in the Access Policy statement.

B. Records related to members of the School community

The Lawrenceville School Stephan Archives will solicit and collect records and papers which are not official School records but which relate to the history the Lawrenceville School and its community members. Examples include:

      • Professional and personal papers of the members of the Board of Trustees if associated with School business
      • Professional and personal papers of alumni relating to their Lawrenceville experiences and, for eminent alumni, their great life experiences
      • Papers or records dealing with the history of Lawrence Township as they relate to the growth and development of the School
      • Papers, records and published items on Lawrenceville School and its role in the history of secondary education

C. Lawrenceville Authors Special Collections

The Lawrenceville Authors Special Collections include non-circulating copies of books and publications by and about faculty members and alumni. The Stephan Archives does NOT collect rare or antique books that are unrelated to Lawrenceville as a subject.

D. Artifacts relating to the history of the School

The Lawrenceville artifact collection includes 3D objects, banners, clothing, other textiles, trophies, plaques and other objects that document the material history of the School.

E. Materials the Stephan Archives does not collect

      • Invoices or financial statements documenting minor financial transactions
      • Duplicates or multiple copies of publications and records
      • Duplicates or multiple copies of non-annotated drafts
      • Blank forms kept for supply purposes
      • Personal or private papers neither created nor received in connection with The Lawrenceville School’s business
      • Newspaper clippings not related to The Lawrenceville School
      • Published books and articles not written by Lawrentians
      • Textbooks

IV. Donations

  • Items sent to the archives that are not official school records become the property of the School, to be kept or discarded as determined by the archivist’s professional judgment.
  • The Stephan Archives reserves the right to refuse articles which are not suitable for our collections or which have mold or insect damage which could pose a hazard to our existing collections.
  • If a collection or item is not appropriate for the School’s collections, archival staff may assist the donor in locating a more appropriate institution to receive the donation.
  • Donations should include the donor’s name and contact information.
  • The Stephan Archives does not perform financial appraisals of donated collections for tax purposes. While the archives can issue a detailed gift acknowledgment listing donated items, assessment of materials’ fiduciary value must be conducted by an outside appraiser.
  • When possible, as much information about items as possible should be included, including associated people, events, locations and dates.
This document is modeled on the NYU Collection Policy, available at

 Updated 8 Jan 2014

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  1. Pingback: Drafts: To Keep or Not To Keep? | The School Archivist

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