The Troy University Archives and Special Collections (TUASC) mission is to collect, preserve, and provide access to information and materials documenting and supporting the history and research interests of Troy University, its constituents, and its supporting community.
TUASC is a component of Troy University Libraries and is under the administrative authority of the Dean of Libraries, Dr. Chris Shaffer. TUASC is managed by the University Archivist and the faculty librarians of the Troy University Library.
Summary of Collection Holdings
Library materials in Troy University Special Collections possess unique value or importance and require special security measures and environmental controls to protect and preserve them for future generations. These holdings are discoverable through the library's online catalog and database, and most items may be checked out for in-house (only) review. In some instances, a facsimile or digital copy will be provided to researchers in order to preserve the integrity and longevity of rare or fragile materials.
Troy University Archives acquire, preserve, and provide access to permanent records of historical, institutional, or research value, as defined by the TUASC Mission Statement.
In this respect, the University Archives differs from university records management entities that supervise and control temporary university records and adhere to legal schedules governing their retention and disposal.
The University Archives is not a library, and its methods and functions are significantly different from those of a library. Some of the characteristics that distinguish an archive from a library are:
Archives primarily manage unpublished materials; Libraries manage published materials only.
Archives work with groups of materials called collections, fonds, or record groups. Libraries work with individual materials, such as books or periodicals.
Researchers discover materials in archival collections by reviewing summary documents called "Finding Aids," which organize materials based upon contextual relationships. Researchers discover materials in libraries by using classification systems, such as the Dewey Decimal System.
Archival holdings are typically named by archivists to reflect the donor or creator of the collection. Library materials, such as books, are already titled by the publication's author or editor.
The University Archives organizes its collections through the use of descriptive hierarchical categories that increase in granularity from the general title and summary heading to the series, sub-series, and folder/item level. These levels are based upon temporal or functional perspectives and will vary in use based upon the complexity of the collection and the level of archival processing completed. Finding Aids, as previously described, are the principle tool used by archivists to record the organizational structure of a collection and provide researchers with an effective search tool to filter large quantities of information.
Recommended procedure for accessing archival materials:
- Review online collection descriptions to locate materials of interest.
- Review the TUASC Rules and Procedures.
- Submit a completed TUASC Registration Form and appointment request to the University Archivist well in advance of your research visit.
- Confirm a date and time for your research visit.
Walk-in requests will be serviced to the best of our ability, but advanced notice is preferred and appreciated by archival staff. Unprocessed collections require substantial time for retrieval, review, and preparation.
Accessing Digital Materials
Copyright law and privacy restrictions often prevent the digitization and distribution of archival materials. When available, digital materials can be accessed more rapidly than tangible holdings. Please contact the University Archivist for more information pertaining to digital materials access.
Collection Policy, Forms, & Information Links
The University Archives and Special Collections is located in Wallace Hall at the Troy, Alabama, campus of Troy University.