Local History and Archives Policy

Key Points Summary:

  • The library’s Local History and Archives Policy outlines the key principles and key objectives of the library’s archival collection development and access.
  • A central role of Local History and Archives is to collect, preserve and make accessible materials which illustrate the history of the Hamilton area and its peoples.
  • The Local History and Archives policy outlines the key criteria for the acquisition, access and de-accessioning of archival materials.

Purpose        

The purpose of this policy is to outline the mandate, scope and objectives of the Hamilton Public Library’s Local History and Archives collection and archival activities and the authority under which the department operates.

This policy articulates the key objectives with respect to the acquisition, preservation and access to materials in the Local History and Archives collection which will reflect the Mission Statement and Strategic Priorities of the Hamilton Public Library. The policy outlines process and expectation to assure transparency, accountability and preservation of trust so that customers, donors, researchers, library staff and other key stakeholders may better understand archival principles and practice.

Definitions:

Accession is the formal acceptance into custody and recording of an acquisition.

Acquisition is an addition to the holdings of a repository.

De-accession is the removal of material from the holdings of a repository.  

 

Policy Details:

The Local History and Archives collection exists to:

  • Collect, preserve and make accessible materials which illustrate the history of the Hamilton area and its peoples. The Archives collect and provides access to documentary heritage that makes a significant contribution to an understanding of the development of the City, its natural and built environment, its culture and the people who lived, worked, and had an impact upon the Hamilton area;
  • Collect and preserve archival materials created by the Hamilton Public Library which illustrate the growth and development of the Hamilton Public Library, both before and after incorporation, or which pertain in whole or in part to activities within the Hamilton Public Library;
  • Arrange and describe these materials according to archival principles and make them accessible to the general public on a regular basis, unless access is restricted by legal requirements, Library Board policy or written agreement with the donor;
  • Provide adequate and appropriate conditions for the storage, protection and preservation of archival material;
  • Provide reference services to individuals, organizations, the municipal government, or other groups interested in the activities and holdings of Local History and Archives;
  • Facilitate digitization projects, exhibition, outreach and programming to increase public awareness of the Hamilton area and its peoples, history and development.

The ultimate responsibility for the management of Local History and Archives is with the Chief Librarian acting in accordance with the general policies established by the Library Board. In practice, this authority is delegated to the Director of Collections and the Manager of Local History and Archives.

The presence of materials in the Local History and Archives collection does not constitute an endorsement of their content or viewpoints by the Library Board. The Board recognizes that this policy is carried out in compliance and with due regard for all applicable legislation.

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