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Archives and Special Collections: Archive Collection

What Can I Expect to Find?


Filling approximately 500 linear feet of shelves, the four major collections of the Stevenson Archives are located in the Greenspring Valley Campus Library.  While 100% of the Maryland Bible Society, Beauchesne, and Hollinger Collections have been inventoried approximately 50% of the much larger Stevenson University Collection remains to be inventoried.  The Stevenson Archive's PastPerfect database of 1500 records are now available here.  


The Archives at Stevenson University currently consist of two rooms: the Alumni Reading Room and the Storage Area.  Paid for largely by Stevenson's Alumni Association as well as gifts from individuals, the Alumni Reading Room is a secure area in which researchers and staff can interact with the collection.  Paid for by generous grants, the archives storage room adjoins the reading room.  Banned from the area are ink writing tools as well as scissors and bladed objects.  Photography is prohibited unless explicitly approved by the Archivist in accordance with the terms of agreement under which the various collections are held.  Access is generally open to all for research purposes and publication in academic journals.  Specific terms must be met for those seeking to publish on the Web or to a circulation greater then 2,000 people.  The Alumni Reading Room is well lit with UV-filtered fluorescent light and is kept at a constant temperature of 70 degrees (F).   The storage area is temperature (62 degrees F) and humidity (40%) controlled and employs UV screening on its lights.    

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At the heart of every successful archive is the system by which items are numbered and tracked. The process by which this occurs is called the accessioning process. Items are received, assessed, accepted, recorded, numbered, and stored according to each institutions unique process of accessioning. Unlike traditional library collections that are cataloged by subject, archival collections are usually catalogued according to a document's origins.

For example, in the Stevenson University Collection documents and artifacts are grouped by School, Program, or administrative office.  Within that grouping, older papers generally have a lower document number (accession number) than do more recent documents.  In the case of all four collections held by the Archives, materials are numbered according to their originating source, the container in which they arrived, and the date on which they were accessioned.  Once numbered and entered into the Archives database, materials are stored according to media format.  Books, manuscripts, paper records, photographs, film/video, audio, and artifacts are separated and stored according to their particular needs.