The effective use of information requires the early and accurate identification of potentially valuable records. This is especially challenging in an environment of personalized information technology and individualized records creation. The purpose of the Carleton University Archives is to preserve the historic records of the University. The Archives collects the official records of the University and its departments (1942-present). Included are publications, scrapbooks, photo albums, sound recordings, plans, videos, and many meters of textual records. These records tell the full Carleton story; from the first days of Carleton College to today’s world-class university. To ensure that researchers, now and in the future, have access to that story, archival records are carefully preserved, described, and inventoried.

The Carleton University Archives was officially established in April 1994. It was first an administrative unit of the Board of Governors, and was the culmination of 13 years of planning. In 1997, the Archives became a unit of the University Secretariat with the Archivist reporting directly to the University Secretary.

Despite the fact that the University established an Achives Advisory Committee and developed an Achives Policy in the early 1980’s, it did not take the steps to establish a formal function until a decade later. In 1994 a small budget was set aside and a professional archivist undertook a part-time assignment to begin the planning and development of an archives and records management program.

The Corporate Archives operates under the authority of the University Archives Policy, which was approved by Senior Management Committee in 2009. The budget of the Archives is small and is supplemented by grants from both the government and professional organizations. The Archives has a research area, quite close to the storage Vault in the lower level of Robertson Hall.

According to the policy, “the mission of the Archives is to effectively and efficiently manage the records of the University, and to preserve the University’s corporate memory.” In support of this mission, the Archives has a mandate to acquire, preserve and make available corporate and non-corporate archival records of the University as well as to advise record-creating units on the organization and disposal of their corporate records.

The Archives collects all non-published information, regardless of physical form. Documents, photographs, audio tapes and diskettes all have a place in the Archives. Material collected by the Archives is limited to records that document the activities of the University.