This policy specifies the criteria to be considered when Special Collections & Archives disposes of items which have substantial research or financial value. It outlines the methods to be employed when deaccessioning takes place. It does not pertain to routine weeding of archival collections according to accepted practice.

Evaluation of Materials

Special Collections & Archives may on occasion deaccession printed or published materials because they duplicate holdings. Materials with significant research or financial value will be reviewed with careful research and consideration. Any deaccession decision should include an appraisal recommendation (see template form) submitted to the Special Collections & Archives Director. The recommendation should answer the following questions:

  1. Does the material fall within the scope of the current Collection Development Policy?
  2. Is the material a duplicate or does it duplicate information already held here or elsewhere in another format?
  3. What is the physical condition of the material?
  4. Are there any donor agreements or other legal issues that apply to this material?
  5. How would deaccessioning the material affect public access to information?
  6. Would the material be more useful to the scholars if located at another institution?

Once the final decision is made, documentation regarding the final disposal will be created signed and dated by the Director. This permanent documentation will be included in the Special Collections & Archives donor files.

Disposition of Materials

Materials to be deaccessioned may be returned to the donor, transferred to other scholarly institutions, or destroyed. In many cases, the donor will determine their preference when donating the material and signing a letter of agreement. Any disposition of materials with significant research or financial value will be governed by the following considerations:

  1. Materials must be free of all legal impediments. No such materials will be deaccessioned when this action is contrary to any written agreement with the donor.
  2. Reasonable attempts will be made to contact the donor when materials are considered for deaccession unless otherwise specified by the donor.
  3. The method of disposition will be decided by Special Collections & Archives staff in consultation with the donor and with the appropriate administrative units of WFU including the ZSR administration or other appropriate authority.
Reviewed annually (2024).