The Center of Southwest Studies ("the Center") is part of Fort Lewis College ("the College"), which has granted the Center the legal authority to collect, preserve, organize and make available the archival records of the College and any other historical and ethnographic materials defined by the Center's Collection Development Policy. The Fort Lewis College Special Collections ("Special Collections") is the component of the Center of Southwest Studies that collects, preserves, organizes and makes available the historical and ethnographic materials ("the materials"), including archives (most notably, the Fort Lewis College Archives, hereafter referred to as the College Archives), records of all sorts and artifacts. No such materials may be removed from the Center without approval of the Archivist or the Director. In the event that the College's special collections program is dissolved or disbanded, the State's archival records of the College will be transferred within Fort Lewis College, and failing that, to the most suitable State agency. In the event of such transfer of materials, the collection of College Archives will be maintained intact according to provenance.
Statement of Purpose
The mission of the Fort Lewis College Special Collections as regards the College Archives is to identify, acquire, organize, preserve and make available materials pertaining to the College that have sufficient historical, ethnographic, legal, fiscal or administrative significance to warrant their long term preservation. Special Collections is, in part, the corporate memory of the College and of the community; it especially serves as an information resource for all persons interested in the history and development of Fort Lewis College.
Effective management of records and information generated, processed or received by the faculty, staff and students is essential to fulfilling the College's mission. An effective records management program assures economy and efficiency in the creation, organization, maintenance, use and retrieval of administrative records, assures the protection of records that are vital to the College and ensures the preservation of historically important records. Such a program requires the cooperation of all concerned.
The Archivist, in cooperation with the Center of Southwest Studies Director, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Vice President for Business and Finance and the several College deans and department heads, shall develop guidelines and procedures for the management of the current records of the College, shall determine retention and disposal schedules for all types of records, and shall see to it that such schedules are observed by all offices and departments of the College.
Uses of the Special Collections
Research and Administrative Reference. As regards the College Archives, Special Collections resources support (in descending order of priority) the work of the departments and individuals who created and/or compiled the records, undergraduate research work, faculty research, and research by those beyond the College.
Records Management. The Center is the hub for effective management of records and information generated, processed or received by the faculty, staff and students. The Center assists administrative, academic and student offices by relieving them of the cost and inefficiencies of retaining in their offices non-current, but historically valuable, records. Records management is seen as essential to fulfilling the College's mission, assuring economy and efficiency in the creation, organization, maintenance, use and retrieval of administrative records, assuring the protection of records that are vital to the College and ensuring the preservation of historically important records.
Preservation. The Center recognizes that research, exhibition, loans, handling and storage of its materials must be consonant with sound preservation practices. These activities must not damage or compromise the integrity of the materials.
The records of any College office or department shall, prior to or upon the termination of the existence and functions of that office or department, be transferred to the custody of the College Archives for appraisal and disposal.
Since all records - including machine readable records - created by an employee of the College in the performance of his or her duties legally are the property of the College, upon termination of employment all individuals shall transfer to the College Archives those records no longer needed for the current operations of their respective offices or departments. In no case shall anyone remove such records from the College, or destroy same, without the prior permission of the Archivist.
Fort Lewis College specializes in teaching and learning in an undergraduate liberal arts setting. The Center of Southwest Studies strives to document the history of this basic function as well as to support the Southwest curriculum of the College. Thus, the College Archives' records shall include all historically significant and permanently valuable records received or created by college officials, staff, faculty and students in the course of their Fort Lewis College duties, regardless of the physical form of the records, whether on paper, film, magnetic tape or other material, including machine readable records as well as other types.
The Center solicits historical materials from College administrators, faculty, students, alumni, and any person or institution with materials that meet the Center's collecting policy, resources permitting. Materials offered to the Center that do not fall within its collecting policy or which are duplicates may be referred first to an appropriate Fort Lewis College office and then to some other appropriate repository.
Access and Reference Policies
The Center of Southwest Studies serves as an information resource for persons researching the history and development of - among other topics - Fort Lewis College. Its primary users are College administrators, faculty, students, alumni, and other immediate members of the College community. Its secondary users are members of the general public.
The goal of the Center is to provide access to all interested users on equal terms, taking into account the need to restrict access to some materials on grounds of privacy and of the confidentiality of the information they contain. College Archives materials will be available for directly supervised library use only at the Center and cannot be circulated. All users must comply with the Center's procedures for registration.