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Archiving OSU's student groups

Best practices guide for student organizations

Transferring your records in 4 simple steps

1. Get in touch with us

Collections ArchivisKarl McCreary can meet with you to talk about your records and if they should be transferred to SCARC. He'll ask about the scope of the records and activities they document, so before contacting Karl it's a good idea to review the records and make note of:

  • how much physical material there is (you can guestimate by thinking in terms of binders, paper boxes, or file cabinet drawers)
  • the types of materials (electronic, pictures, papers)
  • inventories or reports that describe the items
  • confidential or private materials

Karl can also give you guidelines for packing up and inventorying your materials, talk with you to determine the best way to deliver electronic records to us (CD, flash drive, or digital dropbox), and set you up with boxes to keep your materials safe while they're being transferred to us. 

One thing to note: even after you've reviewed this stellar guide, please do not send records to us without prior notice. We'd hate to have your history sitting on our loading dock!

2. Share your plan with your members and faculty advisor(s)

Make sure you let people in your group know what's going on and that everyone is on board with the plan before you begin transferring your materials to us!

We can talk to your group about archiving your records by arranging a visit to SCARC—complete with a show-and-tell—for your group members or coming to one of your meetings

3. Pack up and transfer your materials

  • Make a list of what's in each box.We would like folder titles and the start and end dates of the materials.
  • Label each box with a sheet of paper giving your organization name, the date, and the name of a contact person.
  • Schedule a time to drop off your materials or have our staff pick them up. 
  • Work with our staff to transfer copies of your electronic records.

4. Don't forget the work you've done

Pass on information about your records to your new officers and members and ask them to visit us to acquaint themselves with your group's archival legacy.

After you've completed your first records transfer, we recommend creating a schedule or policy for your organization that will prompt future group members to transfer new records to SCARC on a recurring basis. The best time for this is toward the end of each academic year as graduating organization officers get ready to leave campus.

You may also want to designate a group historian to study and track your history. This person might also serve as your group's liaison with us. 

What happens after your records are archived?

filing records

Once you transfer the records you'll need to visit us to see them and won't be able to take them with you when you leave. Though you won't have the records at the ready in your offices, you will have a group of helpful archivists ready to help with your history questions - both now and once you've left OSU. 

When the records arrive we house them in acid-free folders and boxes, store them safely in an environment designed to preserve them for a long time, organize them, describe them in an online inventory called a finding aid (what's that? you can see an example), and provide access for researchers. Our reading room is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 to 5:00, and SCARC staff can help you with arrangements to access the materials once they have been transferred to us.