University of Alberta Archives Policy


In the 1960s and 1970s the University recognized the importance of preserving archival material for institutional accountability, research and teaching purposes. By establishing the position of University Archivist and establishing the University Archives, the Board of Governors in 1967, 1969 and 1974 took steps to identify, acquire, preserve and make available:

  • University recorded information of enduring archival value, which documents its corporate memory.
  • Non-University recorded information of enduring archival value created or received by faculty, staff or organizations or institutions affiliated to the University which enhance the corporate memory
  • Recorded information of enduring archival value created or received by individuals, organizations and institutions the acquisition of which would support of the academic mandate of the University.

In addition, the University recognized that, as part of its accountability to Albertans and its faculty, staff and students, it was responsible for the efficient and effective management of its recorded information resources in all mediums created or received by faculty or, staff in the course of the performance of their duties.

The University recognized its responsibility to protect personal information and provide appropriate access to non-personal information. In addition, the University recognizes the need to establish a formal process for the legal disposal of its information resources, regardless of its media.

The Board also recognized the relationship between the preservation of University recorded information of enduring archival value and an efficient and effective records management program, which identifies such recorded information and ensures its transfer to, and preservation by, the Archives in appropriate storage facilities and environments.


The policy is designed to provide a University-wide framework to ensure that:

  • The recorded information resources of the University are managed effectively and efficiently.
  • University recorded information of enduring archival value is preserved to ensure public accountability, information authenticity, continuity of decision-making and academic, administrative and legal research.
  • Non-University recorded information needed for research and teaching at the University is acquired, preserved and made available.
  • The use of recorded information of enduring archival value in research, teaching and the creation of new knowledge be encouraged and facilitated.
  • Information and knowledge about the University and its academic and administrative mission is disseminated to the University community and the larger Albertan, Canadian and international communities.

Policy on Archives Materials

It is the policy of the University of Alberta that:

  1. There shall be an Archives directed by an Archivist or Head.
  2. The Archives shall be the official repository of recorded information of enduring archival value, regardless of media:
    • Created or received by University faculty or staff in fulfillment of their duties and transferred to the Archives when no longer needed for day-to-day administration.
    • Acquired by the University Archives to support research and teaching.
    • Acquired by faculties, departments, units and offices to support research and teaching and transferred to the Archives for preservation.
  3. Within the context of government access and privacy legislation and regulations, University policy, donor agreements and best professional and ethical practice the Archives shall provide access to the archival materials in its custody and under its control.
  4. Recorded University information of enduring archival value shall be transferred to the custody and control of the Archives.
  5. In order for Archives staff to determine the location and identity of records of enduring archival value, Archives staff shall have direct access to University faculty and staff and the recorded information of the University.
  6. All donations of the physical property of non-University archival material shall be transacted through a formal donation agreement.
  7. The University will acquire donations of archival material in accordance with the laws and regulations governing the acquisition of archival cultural property and the framework of the Archives acquisition strategy. These include the laws, conventions and treaties of the provincial and federal governments of Canada and international agreements and treaties.
  8. The Archives shall comply with the conditions required by the Department of Canadian Heritage to maintain a Category “A” accreditation for cultural archival property.
  9. The Archives may remove and dispose of acquisitioned materials (de-accessioning) as appropriate.
  10. From time to time the Archives will issue such policies, procedures, and tariffs as necessary for the effective and efficient operation of these programs

Records Management

The University of Alberta Archives in collaboration with the University Records Office will assist in the facilitation of a records management program.

  1. The University shall develop University-wide records management policies, procedures, guidelines and standards to facilitate the preservation and access to recorded information of enduring value. This may include the creation and maintenance of record retention schedules, record disposal authorities, record keeping systems, vital record protection, disaster preparedness planning, and records security.
  2. Within such University policies, procedures, guidelines and standards, faculties, departments, units and offices shall be responsible for the management of the recorded information created or received by their faculty and other staff members in the course of University business.
  3. All recorded information created or received by faculty and staff of the University, as a consequence of the performance of their established duties, is the property of the University and subject to the policies of the University records management program.
  4. No recorded information of the University shall be destroyed without the approval of the University Records Officer and the University Records Archivist.
  5. University faculties, departments, units and offices shall comply with records retention schedules and disposal authorities for the legal disposal of records in their custody or, under their control.

Policy Administration

This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Approved Statutory Authority

Post Secondary Learning Act, RSA

Previous Authorities

Minutes – Board of Governors:

  • July 28th, 1967 Establishing the Position of University Archivist
  • October 3rd, 1969 Establishing an Archives Policy
  • June 7th, 1974 Establishing a Policy on Documents Retention and Disposal