Operating Principles and Standards



As part of the UCSC Library, Special Collections & Archives shares the commitment to develop, organize, preserve, and secure its collections and to provide public service, instruction, and outreach to local, national, and international scholarly communities. (See UCSC University Library Mission.


Special Collections & Archives embraces the philosophy, standards, procedures, and practices as outlined in:

Guidelines for College and University Archives prepared by the Society of American Archivists (http://www.archivists.org/governance/guidelines/cu_guidelines.asp), 
and in the standards prepared by the Rare Books and Manuscript Section of ALA’s Association of College & Research Libraries (http://www.rbms.info/standards/index.shtml; (http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/standards/index.cfm)



Special Collections & Archives offers access to the library's most unique holdings, including a range of textual, media, graphic and artifactual primary source material in analog and digital formats for educational, private study and research purposes. The department supports UCSC’s academic programs and its instructional and scholarship interests.


It collects, organizes, describes, preserves and promotes collections that hold particular historical and cultural significance; houses and provides access to publications and archives focusing on the geographic region of Santa Cruz; and
serves as the repository for UCSC administrative archives and records.



Special Collections & Archives acquires materials by gift, transfer and purchase, in accordance with general library and institutional procedures. (see: Donate a Collection ; University Archives).

Since all Gifts-in-Kind are accepted by the UC Regents, the governing gift acceptance policies are included in the following web-based Development Policy Manual: http://www.ucop.edu/ucophome/policies/devpol/.


Decisions on what is collected are made by  designated library personnel and are based on criteria such as the following: relationship to the campus’s academic plans, relevance and consistency with the goals and activities of the Library, the importance of material for scholarly research, maintaining the integrity of extant collections, the commitment to providing regional resources, and the ability to catalog, conserve, house, and promote material in a proper manner.


Gifts-in-Kind given to the Regents of the University of California are irrevocable, and are to be used exclusively to benefit UCSC and are for inclusion, access and use in the collection of the University Library. Conveyance of rights, title, and interest associated with a donation is addressed within the Deed of Gift.



Special Collections & Archives endeavors to accession, arrange, describe, catalog, conserve and preserve newly acquired and legacy collections of all formats and subjects. A variety of tools are employed to inform users of collection and archive content. To increase delivery and availability of analog material, selected items are optimally transferred to digital formats as resources permit, and both analog and digital forms are archived. Internal databases and inventories are used to document information about the work, its content, provenance, rights, condition, location, etc.


Materials are described in the University Library's local catalog CruzCat (http://cruzcat.ucsc.edu), in the UC union catalog Melvyl (http://melvyl.cdlib.org/), and/or through electronic finding aids available via the Online Archive of California (OAC) (http://www.oac.cdlib.org/institutions/ark:/13030/kt3r29q08x). Digitized items, as well as additional descriptive information will also be made available through the Library’s implementation of a new digital content management system, CONTENTdm.


In describing and arranging its collections, Special Collections uses standardized language and authority control found in Library of Congress authority files (http://authorities.loc.gov/) and in the Getty Vocabularies (http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/vocabularies/). Information is presented in formats such as MARC (machine-readable cataloging) and EAD (Encoded Archival Description.) Cataloging Cultural Objects: A Guide to Describing Cultural Works and Their Images(http://www.vraweb.org/ccoweb/cco/about.html), the OAC’s Best Practices(http://www.cdlib.org/inside/diglib/guidelines/bpgead/), and the California Digital Library's (CDL) Guidelines for Digital Objects (http://www.cdlib.org/inside/diglib/guidelines/) inform processing staff in description and arrangement.


Special Collections & Archives attempts to process collections and archives expeditiously as possible. Funding and other resources (state funding and specialized external support), extent, original order and documentation, donor restrictions, and condition and format of material are factors which influence the speed and timeliness of the  department’s processing effort.



Special Collections & Archives strives to promote open access to its services and collections in its care in accordance with legal requirements, in compliance with UCSC Special Collections & Archives donor agreements as noted in Deeds of Gift, and in adherence to Library policies (See the Library Lending Code). 


Owing to the individual or collective value or the age and fragility of physical items in the collections, materials must be maintained under special conditions. Materials do not circulate but are available in Special Collections’ Reading Room to all users of the Library. Special conditions for use as well as handling requirements must be followed by all researchers. (See: Conditions of Use). 


These rules are designed to protect and maintain the integrity of collections and provide for long-term access, while providing the best possible service to users.


Reproduction and Use of Materials from Special Collections:

Special Collections & Archives controls all duplication services and reproduction requests. The department complies with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, US Code, 1976) and the International Berne Convention, which govern the making of copies of copyrighted material and which prohibit the copying of material that is under copyright protection without specific written authorization from the copyright holder. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. 


One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. Special Collections & Archives reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.


Researchers are asked to review and acknowledge the Policy on Duplicating, Reproducing, Publishing of Special Collections Materials.


Researchers wishing to use items in Special Collections & Archives for non-commercial or commercial reproduction and/or publication in either electronic or paper format must consult with the Special Collections Librarian regarding permission and charges.


Material may be reproduced when, in the judgment of the Librarian, such reproduction supports the research, teaching, learning mission of the University of California system, but will not damage the original item, will not duplicate an inordinate portion of the material, is not prevented by U.S. Copyright Law, and does not infringe on special restrictions imposed by the donor of the material. Where Special Collections & Archives holds copyright it reserves the right to exercise judgment concerning the appropriateness of commercial reproduction and conformance with the values of the University and those of the original creator.


Permission to publish may be offered only to the extent of UCSC ownership of the rights related to the request or when documented special arrangements between UCSC Library and the copyright holders have been made and when a request complies with donor agreements and any known copyright restrictions.


Special Collections & Archives is unable to conduct copyright searches and cannot counsel users in the application of copyright law.


When permission rights have been obtained, all photographic reproduction or the scanning and creation of digital files needed for use in electronic or paper publication or distribution is facilitated through the University Library. Special Collections & Archives will provide researchers with credit lines and available caption information.


Security and Preservation:

Special Collections & Archives protects all materials for which it is responsible and makes every effort to guard them against physical damage, deterioration, and theft. The collections managed by Special Collections are mixed in format, size, date of creation and publication, and physical condition. They are maintained in secured, climate controlled locations with optimum storage conditions meeting professional and industry standards; archival housing and containers appropriate for long-term preservation of material are used. (See: National Media Lab http://www.nml.org ; International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Standards http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_catalogueAmerican National Standards Institute (ANSI) http://www.ansi.org; guidelines from the Image Permanence Institute (IPI) http://www.imagepermanenceinstitute.org; and SAA publications and products catalog on preservation http://www.archivists.org/catalog/index.asp?keywordID=63)


Use of Special Collections & Archives materials is restricted to areas within the department. Requests for exceptions to this policy will be subject to evaluation by the Library and the UCSC Office of Risk Management. The Library reserves the right to deny requests for offsite use due to security and preservation concerns.


Special Collections is responsible for protecting the confidentiality of researchers and materials as required by legal statutes, donor agreements, and policies of the Library (see for example: the Borrower's Privacy Notice.


edited January 11, 2008