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Personal Papers of University Staff

The Special Collections section of the Barr Smith Library is by tradition the repository for the personal papers of the academic staff and other members of the University community, including graduates.  We organise, list, preserve and make available these papers to assist research on the history of the University, faculty and relevant academic discipline, and for their information on the individual and their contribution to teaching and research.

The following guidelines have been prepared to assist academic staff and others in identifying the categories of papers that are considered appropriate for transfer to the Library for these purposes.  Papers in any of these categories may include published and manuscript material, tapes and video recordings, newspaper cuttings, photographs and slides, and electronic records.  Given the rapid changes in technology it is essential that, where records are in formats that can only be accessed using specialised equipment or software, the appropriate equipment and/or programs be also deposited.

Ideally papers should be transferred in the order in which they were created and used, and with sufficient identification (preferably the original file title or label) to enable correct descriptive listing.

General research access will usually be granted to such papers, but restrictions may be negotiated where depositors wish to protect sensitive and confidential papers.

It should be noted that official (and some ‘informal’) files on students and departmental matters may be regarded as University records and can be lodged more appropriately with the University Archives, which has responsibility for the non-current administrative records of the University considered worthy of permanent preservation.  Issues of personal privacy may also be involved.  Depositors should refer to the official University Policy on records and to the University Privacy Policy.

Guidelines for Deposit of Personal Papers

Biographical material
Resumes, curriculum vitae, bibliographies, biographical and autobiographical sketches, chronologies, genealogies, honours and awards, memoirs, personal diaries, obituaries.

Correspondence (official, professional and personal)
Letters, emails and memoranda generated in the course of conducting university and departmental business; with colleagues, publishers, professional organizations and students; and personal correspondence with friends, relatives and associates.
[N.B. some correspondence sent and received may comprise official University records. For guidelines on the definition of official records and on records required for the University Archives staff should refer to the Records and Archives Management Handbook or contact the University Archivist]

Teaching material
Lecture notes, course outlines, reading lists and handouts.

Research files and data
The format and scope of these will vary greatly between disciplines and individuals but may include research proposals, observational and experimental data, notes, notebooks and recordings of source material and research/field trips, reports of findings, [architectural/engineering] drawings, photographs and slides.

Study leave reports and other papers relating to teaching and research while on leave

Reprints and other published articles
Monographs and other book-length publications are sought rather for the University Collection within Special Collections, and such works received as part of a transfer of personal papers will normally be separately catalogued for that collection.

Copies of speeches, addresses, broadcasts, memorial addresses etc. given in a professional or other capacity

Papers documenting participation in other professional and civic activities and organisations

Papers not normally required include

  • Departmental and University committee minutes and agendas except where of a specialised nature not likely to be received by official transfer to the University Archives, or where the papers reflect the staff member’s significant participation in the working of the committee.
    [N.B. files created and held by staff, especially in their capacity as professor, departmental head or committee convenor, may comprise or contain the official record copies of University documents.  For guidelines on the definition of official records and on records sought for the University Archives staff should refer to the Records and Archives Management Handbook or contact the University Archivist.
  • Routine and circular correspondence, memoranda minutes and agendas received as a member of the University or a professional body.
  • Financial records (personal and relating to conferences, research, study leave etc.)
  • Drafts and proofs of publications and speeches [except where the work was substantial but not completed or published].
  • Collections of research papers, journal articles, and reprints by others
  • Notes on sources and laboratory data where this has been incorporated into publications and is unlikely to be of further research use.
  • Memorabilia (apart from photographs, medals, certificates and awards, photographs and portraits)
    [Note: Items of academic dress are welcomed by the Academic Dress hire service run by the Australian Federation of University Women, S.A.]
University Library

Barr Smith Library
South Australia 5005


Phone: +61 8 8313 5224