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The Virginia Kelly Karnes Archives and Special Collections Research Center

About the Archives

Transfer Guidelines for Personal Papers of Faculty and Staff

The Karnes Archives and Special Collections Research Center is the repository on the Purdue campus primarily responsible for collecting the personal papers of prominent Purdue University faculty and staff. The personal papers of faculty and staff provide a rich source for historical research. If you are interested in discussing the transfer of your papers, please contact an archivist at (765) 494-2839, or by email at

The following guidelines will assist faculty and staff in identifying those portions of their files that are appropriate for transfer to the Archives. This list is by no means definitive or exhaustive, but is intended as a general approximation of materials that reflect the careers of Purdue University faculty and staff members. Materials not specifically cited below that contribute toward documenting faculty and staff careers are, of course, welcome.

Papers commonly transferred to the Archives include, but are not limited to, the following materials:

  1. Biographical material: Resumes, vitae, biographical and autobiographical sketches, chronologies, genealogies, and newspaper clippings
  2. Official correspondence: Outgoing and incoming letters and memoranda generated in the course of conducting university business
  3. Professional correspondence: outgoing and incoming letters relating to one's academic career, including correspondence with colleagues, publishers, professional organizations and students
  4. Personal and family correspondence: letters to and from friends, relatives and business associates
  5. Diaries, notebooks and appointment calendars
  6. Teaching material: One copy of lecture notes, overheads, slides, syllabi, course outlines, reading lists, examinations, and student papers
  7. Research files: Outlines, research designs, raw data, notes, analyses and reports of findings
  8. Departmental and committee records: Agenda, minutes, reports, correspondence and related material
  9. Drafts and manuscripts of articles, books, reviews and speeches
  10. Publications: one copy of all articles, books, reviews, or works of art;
  11. Audiovisual material: Tapes, videotapes and films (digital or analog) documenting personal and professional activities and/or Purdue University events or subject matter.
  12. Photographs: Prints, negatives, slides and digital images documenting personal and professional activities and/or Purdue University events or subject matter.

Material should be transferred in the order in which the faculty or staff member maintained them. A letter briefly identifying the material and describing the activity to which they relate should accompany the transfer.

Documents which generally should not be transferred without prior consultation with the Archivist include:

  1. Detailed financial records, canceled checks, and receipts.
  2. Non-personally addressed mail and routine letters of transmittal and acknowledgment (i.e., "Junk Mail");
  3. Duplicates and multiple copies of publications, course materials; all other duplicate material: transfer only the original and heavily annotated copies;
  4. Reference collections of books, research papers, journal articles, and reprints written by other persons. However, any of these publications that contain your annotated remarks or notes should be transferred to the Archives.
  5. Grade books and class rosters.


Adopted 1/6/ 2011 at Libraries IRC

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