Archives Information for Donors
The Macmillan Brown Library is dependant upon the generosity of Donors to build upon its already substantial research archive. This page should answer some common questions that Donors often ask when considering whether to deposit their papers with the Macmillan Brown Library.
Our collecting activities are primarily orientated towards supporting the research needs of University of Canterbury staff and students, but as part of this goal we also aim to preserve records of historical significance to the wider community.
The collection is particularly strong in the areas of the records of Trade Unions, personal papers gathered by Members of Parliament and Ministers of the Crown, personal and family papers complied by individuals, the records of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, University of Canterbury records and the papers of voluntary groups active in the community. Our collecting activities are designed to build upon these strengths.
In addition we vigorously pursue the collection of records from a broad cross section of the community, from both organizations and individuals
We hope the material we collect will reflect the core activities of these individuals and groups and therefore preserve an accurate record for present and future generations of researchers.
We want to preserve those records that reflect the core activities and interests of the donor. These records are normally unique and original. You will find examples of the kind of records we are interested in below. Please note that this list is not exhaustive. If you are in any doubt as to whether your papers are worthy of permanent preservation please contact the Curator of Archives and Manuscripts.
For an organisation, club or business the kinds of records we collect may include:
- Minute Books
- Correspondence files
- Financial Papers
- Classified and Subject Files
For a person or a family the kind of material in which we may be interested includes:
- Personal papers and correspondence
- Diaries and Journals
- Family Albums
- Original memoirs/scrapbooks
The following kinds of material are not normally placed in the archives:
- Published works held in other repositories
- Multiple copies of a single item
- Objects and memorabilia
Exceptions to this principle are sometimes made, such as when an item is very rare or of particular research value or when an item forms an intrinsic part of the collection and cannot sensibly be removed from it.
If your materials are not considered appropriate for the archives collection we may encourage you to place them in the published collections or we may be able to suggest an alterative local repository.
Once you decide to donate your material to the Macmillan Brown Library we will ask you to sign a Deposit Agreement.
The Deposit Agreement sets out the terms and conditions of deposit and outlines the responsibilities of both the Macmillan Brown Library and the Donor. Copies of the Deposit Agreement are available from the Curator of Archives and Manuscripts.
The material is then placed in a specialised archival repository, which is managed by a professional curator. The material is preserved and cared for according to the best professional practices available. Eventually, your records will be listed and made available via this site.
If you have material that is sensitive or personal in nature we are able to restrict access to it on your behalf. You may ask for written permission to be obtained from you or your descendants before a researcher can view an item or we can place an access ban on the material for a specified time.
The Macmillan Brown Library acknowledges the special relationship Donors have to the records they give to our care. Donors will have ongoing permanent access to their papers during normal Macmillan Brown Library opening hours.