FAQs for campus organizations

1. What material is considered to be “private papers” of an organization?

Generally, archival records of an organization are created in the normal course of day to day activities, are inactive (if the organization is still operating) and may include, among others,

  • correspondence of the governing body and /or officers of the organization
  • minutes of meetings of governing body and its committees
  • photographs of events of the organization, members of the organization, etc
  • annual reports, committee reports, special reports
  • manuscripts of publications
  • membership lists
  • financial records such as general ledgers and related correspondence.
  • personnel files of organization’s employees

Records must be at least 5 years old before a gift will be confirmed.

The Archives does not acquire routine financial transaction records relating to office supplies, equipment, rental of space, etc.

2. What types of organizations does the University Archives collect?

Our collecting focuses on organizations unique to the University of Toronto, as opposed to branches of regional organizations. The University has many formal and informal student organizations on campus such as clubs and associations relating to sports, politics, religion, social and cultural interests, student newspapers, radio station, etc. Many are officially recognized by the Office of Student Affairs. The Archives also collects records of some fraternities and sororities. In addition there are also organizations run by faculty such as Science for Peace.

3. If our organization chooses to donate its records can we restrict access to them?

Every donor has the right to impose reasonable restrictions on the records to protect confidentiality as determined through mutual agreement between the University and the donor. The specific restrictions are determined at the time of donation, are for a fixed term and are specified in a formal Deed of Gift.

4. Can we borrow the records after we donate the organization’s records?

No. Once the Deed of Gift is signed, the records become the property of the University of Toronto Archives. Photocopies of selected records will be provided to officers of the organization free of charge on a one time only basis.

5. Can our organization receive a tax receipt for this donation?

In most cases, campus organizations are non-profit concerns which pay no taxes. Thus a tax receipt would not be of any benefit.

6. Will material that is weeded by staff of the University Archives be returned to the organization?

The fate of weeded material is specified in the Deed of Gift. It can be returned to you or it can be destroyed.

7. Should the organization “reorganize” the records ahead of time?

In most cases records of an organization have already had some arrangement imposed on them by the officers managing the records on a daily basis. Organizations wishing to donate their records will be asked to prepare a box/file list similar to that prepared by University offices. A template for this will be provided by the University Archives. An archivist will then review the list and discuss the final selection of material with the donor organization before completing the Deed of Gift.