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STORM Guide: FAQ and Glossary

Student Organization Records Management Guide


What does the University Archives not collect from student groups? 

  • If your group still currently uses the records or they are actively referred to on a regular basis then it is best to keep those records until a later date 
  • Detailed financial documents like bank statements, receipts, or canceled checks 
  • University-wide memos and announcements unless they relate directly to your organization or events in which your organization organized or participated in
  • Materials that were not created by your group 
  • University publications such as the Daily Tar Heel, Carolina Alumni Review, or the University Gazette unless specific articles relate to events the group organized or participated in 
  • Books  

Do you collect t-shirts, pins, plaques or other physical objects that we may produce?  

Not always, but it's possible depending on what the objects are. At the time of donation, you can discuss options with University Archives staff.  

What should I do about the newsletters or publications our organization publishes on a regular basis? 

One copy of your organization's newsletters and other publications can be donated to the University Archives. 

Will I still have access to my stuff? 

When you donate your materials to the University Archives, we process it and make physical materials available for everyone in the reading room and digital materials available on the digital repository. So, you will still have access to your physical materials upon request in the reading room or digital ones, online.  See the "Research Your Group's History" tab for more information on registering and requesting materials.

Archivist points in large book


Books with word "glossary" in storm graphic

Accession – the process of adding new items or collections to the archive; typically, during this phase, archivists assign a number to the collection and make record of it in their systems 

Appraisal – before taking a collection in, archivists assess it and how it could be used by researchers and its relation to other existing collections 

Archive – 1. permanent valuable records; evidence of past events used to interpret history; 2. a place where collections of historical records are held 

Archivist – a professional responsible for the selection, preservation, and use of historical materials in an archive 

Collection – a group of historical materials (documents, photos, etc.); typically used to refer materials that surround a single theme, person, event, or type of document often acquired from a variety of sources 

Deed of gift – an agreement between the archives and donator that the collection, records, or papers have been officially transferred to the archival institution 

Finding aid – a source created by archivists that describes what makes up the collection, papers, or records 

Materials – when used in this context materials refers to any number of documents, photos, or other items that are donated to the archives 

Papers – a grouping of historical materials (documents, photos, etc.); typically used to refer to materials that were created by a single individual or family 

Primary resources - documents, images or artifacts that provide firsthand testimony or direct evidence concerning a historical topic under research investigation 

Records –  collections of information that can come in many different forms; a grouping of historical materials (documents, photos, etc.); typically used to refer to materials that were created by a group of people or official organization 

Records schedule – a schedule that outlines the amount of time official members of a larger organization (such as the government or university) have to hold onto records before donating or disposing of them; at UNC-CH we have such a tool for official employees and members of the university administration; the General Records Retention and Disposition Schedule does not apply to students – the university has no legal hold over records created by students 

Secondary resources - a work that interprets or analyzes a historical event or period after the event has occurred and, generally speaking, with the use of primary sources 

To give access/to make accessible – one of the main goals archivists strive for is providing historical materials for researchers to further their historical research