Donating UU and UUSC Institutional Records

The Manuscripts and Archives Department of Andover-Harvard Theological Library collects the historical records of the various departments of the UUA and their associated organizations, plus the records of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. These records should illustrate the purposes, activities, and policies of your department or organization. Please call the curator of manuscripts and archives at the Andover-Harvard Theological Library when you have records to transfer here (617.496.5153). Call us before you pack the records, so we can discuss your move.

Usually, records should be at least five years old before transferring them to this office. If you are starting a records management program, perhaps you should establish a set time when records could be transferred to this office. In certain cases, we will accept records that are less than five years old. But we do not accept records that are still active; we cannot store records that will be recalled often by your office for administrative purposes. Please call us to discuss this, if you are thinking of sending us records created in the past five years.

Listed below are some of the kinds of materials that the department collects (and does not collect). If you have records that are not mentioned on the lists below, or if you have any questions about what we collect, please contact Special Collections (617.998.1424).

Materials that the department collects:

  • Architectural records
  • Articles of incorporation, charters
  • Audio recordings
  • Budgets
  • Bylaws and revisions
  • Clippings
  • Constitution and revisions
  • Correspondence of officers
  • Directories
  • Financial statements (year-end summaries, etc.)
  • Handbooks
  • Legal documents
  • Memoranda
  • Minutes of meetings
  • Membership lists
  • Mission statement(s)
  • Motion picture film and videotape
  • Newsletters and other publications generated by your department or organization
  • Organizational charts
  • Pamphlets, brochures, fliers, etc.
  • Photographs (please identify the photographs)
  • Planning documents
  • Press releases
  • Reports (annual, committee, etc.)
  • Rosters
  • Scrapbooks
  • Speeches
  • Subject files

Materials that the department does not collect:

  • Bank statements
  • Canceled checks
  • Routine office records
  • Travel vouchers
  • Other records that should ultimately be discarded
  • Duplicate copies of records. For instance, we usually only need two copies of any given newsletter.

Packing and Sending Your Records

It is important that records from each separate office remain separate. For instance, the records of the Development Department should not be intermingled with the records of the Finance office. Pack records into boxes, number each box, indicate what department each box is from, and give a short description of the contents on the front of each box, including a date range for the contents of each box (for example, "Kay Montgomery correspondence, A-K, 1992-1997"). It is very helpful to also include a list of all the boxes.

Please do not pack the boxes too full; there should be enough room in the box for you to comfortably put your hand in it. If your files are in hanging file folders that have tags with information on them, please try to pack the folders so you can get the box closed. Putting the files in sideways may help with this.

It is not usually our policy to pay shipping costs, but contact us if that is an issue.

If you have any questions, please call this department. 

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