Policy Title

Pettus Archives Collection Development Policy


The Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections (Archives) support research and instruction at Winthrop University through the documentation of Winthrop’s history, local history, and through considered selection of primary source materials. This policy provides guidelines for the development and maintenance of the collections housed at Archives. Dacus Library, Dacus Library’s Government Information Services department, and the institutional repository have separate policies for their collections.


This policy applies to all Pettus Archives Collections and users.

Policy Number:2.5.13
Effective Date:02/07/2023
Date Reviewed: 10/10/2022
Last Review Date:
Responsible Official: Dean, Ida J. Dacus Library and Louise Pettus Archives & Special Collections
Responsible Office: Office of the Dean, Dacus Library and Pettus Archives
Contact Information:

Scope of University Archives 

The University Archives includes records from major campus administrative offices, departments, and student-related activities. The Archives preserves a variety of materials relating to the origin and development of Winthrop University, and to the achievements of its officers, faculty, staff, alumni and students and ensures the proper maintenance, protection, retention, and disposition of institutional records. The University Archives may also include materials beyond the records required for retention by the State (Retention Schedule for State Colleges and Universities) and which are regarded as having historical research value pertaining to the parameters within this document. 


Scope of Special Collections 

The Archives document, preserve, curate, and ensure access to records and artifacts of historical significance, with a special focus on items having research and instructional value for students and Winthrop’s academic programs. These collections include the Manuscripts Collection, Rare Books Collection, and the Oral History Collection. 


University Archives Collection Guidelines 

Records Retention 

Collection and deselection parameters for the University Archives are governed by the Archives and Records Management Division of the State Archives, which are outlined in the Retention Schedule for State Colleges and Universities. The Archives may retain some records for longer than required, and may also retain records outside the scope of the Retention Schedule as required by Winthrop University or if such records meet collection guidelines. 


Special Collections 

Special Collections houses several collections focusing on focused topics, and includes manuscripts, artifacts, photographs, personal correspondence and effects, family records, and rare books. Archives personnel also identify, select, and may purchase books that guide their daily administration, management, and other preservation and collection protocols of their daily and long-term work, which may include: 

  • Purchase of books that assist archives employees’ professional development and/or management of contemporary archives. 
  • Purchase of books supporting archival literacy 


Manuscript Collection Guidelines 

Primary source materials including manuscripts, diaries, correspondence, photographs and clippings, audio-visual and print items, and everyday life artifacts and family records are all considered for Special Collections. Specific areas of interest include: 

  • Women’s History: pertaining to the history of women in South Carolina, or women from South Carolina who have made a state, national or global impact. 
  • Underrepresented Population Groups: documentation of historically ignored populations and communities in South Carolina – in particular, York County. 
  • Clubs and Organization Records: materials from or connected to clubs and organizations that have had a significant impact on or long-term collaborations with Winthrop University, or the local community. 
  • Family History Collections: materialsfocusing on the lives of local families. Primary consideration is given to donations of items connected to Winthrop University. Other donations for this collection may be referred to other appropriate agencies (see Scope). 
  • Genealogy: documents and records of family surnames. Donations connected to Winthrop University are given primary consideration. Other donations for this collection may be referred to other appropriate agencies (see Scope). 
  • Alumni: items/materialshighlighting activities of Winthrop University Alumni. 


Consideration of exceptions to the Manuscript Collection interest areas are rare, and may include: 

  • Materials and artifacts connected to the curriculum, or to teaching or research being performed at Winthrop. 
  • Materials and artifacts connected to historic events that directly impacted Winthrop (e.g., Pandemic). 


Rare Books Collections Guidelines 

Selection criteria for Rare Books primarily considers:  

  • Imprint date  
  • Rarity and Scarcity: First editions of significance; Books in original form printed in numbered editions of 500 or less; In certain discretionary circumstances, books inscribed to Winthrop faculty, staff and alumni may also be considered.  
  • Books meeting rarity and scarcity guidelines and which are also unique to South Carolina. 
  • Physical Characteristics: Books in unusual and unique formats, (e.g., miniature books, illuminated books, gift-books, dime novels, or books that have distinctive bindings, plates, original art or photographs, unusual typography, and unusual printed surfaces).  
  • Lifeways: Books deemed as artifacts, showing significance as a life aid or tool specific to Archives’ subject areas of collection. 
  • Condition: Books housed in Dacus Library’s General Collection that are deemed rare or scarce and which are subject to loss or damage may be transferred from the Library General Collection to the Rare Book Collection. 


In some cases, books in fragile or poor condition may be referred to other appropriate agencies. 


Oral History Collection Guidelines 

Archives selects, preserves, and makes accessible audio-visual and/or interviews documenting lived experiences of people at Winthrop University, Rock Hill, S.C., and the Catawba Region. Other topics in the Oral History Collection include: 

  • Women in Politics and Society 
  • African Americans and other marginalized/underrepresented groups in the American South 
  • Textile mill workers 
  • American wars and conflicts 
  • Other events or ways of knowing that reflect life and perspectives in the areas and locales of coverage noted herein.  


Deselection Guidelines 

Deaccessioning is an integral and essential tool of collection development. In selecting collections for deaccessioning—whether processed or not— the following are also considered: 

  • Does the material fall within the scope of current collecting policies? 
  • Do we have the appropriate space to protect and house the materials? 
  • Do we have the appropriate/sustainable platforms to make the materials accessible? 
  • Do we have the appropriate/sustainable technology to preserve and curate the materials? 
  • Has the material deteriorated beyond real usefulness? 
  • Do any externally imposed restrictions, such as records retention and disposition authorizations or donor agreements, apply to the material? 


Deaccessioned materials may be returned to the donor, transferred to a more appropriate repository, or discarded depending on the Agreement of Gift signed by the donor, and for official Winthrop University Records, upon approval of the State of South Carolina. 


Items We Don’t Collect 

Below are the areas and resources that we either do not collect or are no longer collecting. Materials we do not accept generally fall into three broad categories: materials better suited to other repositories, short-term or active records, and materials duplicative of our current holdings. Occasionally, there may be types of electronic records or born-digital content that we are unable to accept. Please consult with Archives employeesprior to donating. 


  • Political Collections 
  • Official SC State Documents not associated with Winthrop  
  • Historical records that do not originate or document the Catawba Region of Upstate South Carolina (unless there is a direct connection to Winthrop) 
  • Human and animal remains 
  • Plaques, awards, and trophies  
  • Materials from minors without explicit written consent from a parent and/or legal guardian 
  • Large items that are better suited for museum displays 
  • Materials exhibiting mold or exposure to rodents/pests 
  • Severely damaged or extremely fragile items 
  • Materials to which access is restricted in perpetuity or for a period of time deemed by the Archives employees to be beyond a reasonable limitation 


Statement on Challenged Materials 

The Archives gathers and preserves items of historic or contemporary significance to aid users in their research and information needs. Materials housed within the Archives collections should not be viewed as support of or rejection of viewpoints, nor of researcher or user interpretations of materials. Outside of donor agreements or requests, Archival materials are exempt from user requests for removal from the Collections, and published errata for items will be housed with the original items. For general information about challenged materials at Dacus Library, please review the Dacus Library Challenged Materials Policy. 

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 Visit the Dacus Library Website and the Pettus Archives Website for additional information on library and archives access, resources, and services.

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