For definitions of terms referred to in the Archives’ Collecting Policy, please consult the Society of American Archivists’ Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology.
It is the mission of the Archives to promote knowledge and understanding of The New School and its communities by collecting, preserving, contextualizing, and making accessible a rich array of records.
The collecting goal for the Archives’ academic and institutional records is to capture detailed snapshots of important university activity as the school evolves over time. In this effort, we aim to document university governance; student life and organizations; labor organizing and activism; administrative processes; policy making; curriculum development; public programs; and faculty and student work.
In addition to documenting New School history, the Archives collects records that enrich the scholarly, applied practices, and creative pursuits of the New School community.
The following collecting areas delineate general categories of consideration for the Archives. These categories may shift and should not be construed as a comprehensive delimitation of the extent of the Archives’ collecting areas.
Personal and Subject-Specific Papers
In addition to documenting New School history, the Archives acquires records that reflect the lives and work of selected faculty and alumni and periodically adds collections to its holdings that enrich the scholarly, applied practices, and creative pursuits of the New School community.
A Note on Sustainable Digital Growth
As the Archives’ digital preservation initiative becomes more widely known to the university community, the Archives anticipates that it may face competing demands to accommodate perceived needs for long-term digital preservation. While this pressure is expected, the sustainability of the Archives' preservation service is dependent upon an ongoing analysis of costs in relation to the benefits that the service is capable of realizing. To that end, the Archives is committed to continually weighing and recalibrating its appraisal criteria and collecting policies. Priority for selection depends upon factors that include existing and projected costs, and available resources.
The Archives has identified three additional factors that impact digital sustainability practices:
As the use-value of digital assets becomes further defined, the policies and processes for preservation may be adjusted to allow for additional compression, format migration, or reduced backup. In the near-term, implementing a new repository management system will allow for closer analysis of current digital assets to identify where these efficiencies may be applied. The Archives is also committed to scalable digitization processes by tailoring technical specifications to the type of asset.
The Archives considers the environmental impact of uncontrolled data creation to be a critical factor in digital preservation efforts. Through adjustable processes for intellectual and technical curation, the Archives is able to support the ongoing organization and distillation of university data, reducing redundancy and purging lesser-value assets, resulting in honed collections of archival assets with increased value for the community.
Support from university leadership enables the Archives to cultivate stakeholder relations across the community. These relations facilitate informed transfers to the Archives and establish the framework by which long-term value may be evaluated.