Business Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 90: Records

Archival Services

BPPM 90.02

For more information contact:
   Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections

Archival Function

University Archives collects, organizes, and preserves records and files which have potential administrative, legal, and historical research value.

University Archives is part of the WSU Library system in the Division of Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections. University Archives is located in Terrell Library; mail code 5610. Researchers have controlled access to the archives collections.


The archives staff assess and designate records for potential archival value.

Administrative units transfer records and files to University Archives based on the unit’s records retention schedule (see BPPM 90.01).

Archives staff assist in transferring records or personal papers to Terrell Library; mail code 5610.

Archival and Post-Archival

The University Archivist administers the archives in accordance with the Washington State Public Records Law. (RCW 42.56) The archives staff perform the following services:

  • Assign a unique accession number to each installment of records transferred.
  • Organize the material, undertake appropriate preservation procedures, and prepare an inventory of the material transferred.
  • Provide the records coordinator in the office of origin with a copy of the inventory.
  • Provide a new inventory whenever further processing, resulting from the integration of multiple accessions from the same office, renders previously compiled inventories unwieldy or obsolete.
  • Provide controlled access and reference both to the campus and to the public.

Potential Archival Records

Records having potential archival value are those which document past decisions, decision making, and legal precedent, as well as those documenting the University’s history, development, and general achievements.

University Records and Files

Examples of University records and files include the following:

  • Correspondence documenting basic University operation such as planning, policy, decision making, or interdepartmental relations.
  • Campus correspondence documenting relationships with non-University agencies and individuals.
  • Annual reports.
  • Organizational information such as organization charts and delegation of responsibility.
  • Documentation of departmental development.
  • Committee records, minutes, agendas, reports, position papers, recommendations, and related correspondence.
  • Subject files concerning single issues or special programs.
  • Documentation of conferences, conventions, institutes, and symposiums held on the University campus or in conjunction with University units.
  • Grant proposals and final reports.
  • Certain records that document compliance with laws and rules.
  • Departmental publications such as newsletters and brochures.
  • Audio and video recordings documenting University activities.
  • Photographs of personnel and facilities.
Scanned Archival Records

A department may image records (e.g., scan) designated as “Archival.” (The Archival designation is noted in the Remarks column of the applicable records series on the retention schedule. See BPPM 90.01.)

The department may retain the images as original records only if the scanning system used produces images that meet the state imaging quality minimum requirements. (See BPPM 90.21.)

The department must send scanned Archival paper records and a copy of the images to University Archives after scanning. The department must then destroy the imaged records at the end of the retention period.

Personal and Professional Papers

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections also collects, organizes, and preserves the personal and professional papers of faculty and administrators.

Revisions:  Aug. 2019 (Rev. 534); May 2015 (Rev. 449);  Jan. 2001 (Rev. 176);  Mar. 1989 – new policy (Rev. 75).