In many cases, popular culture presents archives as secretive, restricted, dusty places in which a few documents of value are kept hidden. One glance at the Cornell College Archives proves that this is not the case.
With over 930 linear feet of archival and audiovisual material, the Archives is home to a wide variety of documents, publications, and objects providing an in-depth account of Cornell’s long and rich history. The Archives document important institutional decision-making as well as the individual faculty, staff, and students that have all shaped Cornell since its founding in 1853. The Archives are sought-out by a wide variety of users including faculty, staff, students, researchers and outside community members with any number of questions. As the small Archives of a small institution with quarter-time staffing, the Cornell Archives is unique in its ability to maintain and grow such a useful and valuable collection.
During an independent study block, I was fortunate enough to work with Mary Iber (Consulting Librarian for the Sciences and Kinesiology and current Archivist) to develop a governing document called the Collection Development Policy. This document is meant to provide a structure for continuity from year to year and guide the future of the Archives.
Describing past practices, policies and decisions, as well as recommending best-practices for Archives will provide a framework for increasing the longevity, organization and extrinsic value of the Cornell College Archives. This presentation will emphasize my role in helping craft the Collection Development Policy.
Claire Solak, ’13
Majors: English and Creative Writing, Ethnic Studies
Sponsor: Mary Iber