SWiB Statement of Acquisition Policy


1. Purpose of the Archive
1.1 The purpose of the Archive is to find, protect and make available for Research image based archives relating to the Region (South West).
1.2 To fulfil such a purpose successfully it is necessary to define the nature of the documents to be collected, and, within the limitations imposed by staffing levels and available storage, to seek to acquire a comprehensive range of material falling within that definition.

2. Geographical Area
2.1 The Archive collects visual archives relating to the South West Region, an area comprising the pre and post war area of Plymouth, and the area administered by the unitary authorities of Devon and Cornwall.

3. Acquisitions
3.1 The Archive seeks to acquire items worthy of permanent preservation in the following categories:
3.1.1 Records pertaining to Devon and Cornwall and its predecessors.
3.1.2 Records of other local authorities and statutory bodies operating within the counties of Devon and Cornwall.
3.1.3 Records of businesses, estates, individuals, societies, organisations, public and private institutions, and other organisations or activities relevant to the life and history of the Region.
3.2 Records may be acquired by gift (including bequest), deposit or on a temporary loan basis to enable digital surrogates to be produced for access. Records will be held in accordance with the Service’s standard terms and conditions for the deposit of records, unless other conditions are agreed in writing between the Service and the depositor.
3.3 Other physical formats accepted include paper, printed material, drawings, audio and video tape recordings, newspapers, microform, and electronic records. These will not be declined should they complement the existing photographic archives.
3.4 Published sources about the Region are accepted for the office library, particularly where they relate closely to documents held by the Archive Service or are useful for the study of such documents. The acquisition of published material is not, however, a primary aim of the Archive Service.
3.5 Theses, dissertations and research studies (predominantly unpublished) are accepted for the office library, particularly where they relate closely to documents held by the Archive or are useful for the study of such documents.
3.6 The Archive will be responsible for deciding whether items offered for deposit comply with the criteria set out in 3.1.1-3.

4. Exclusions
4.1 The Archive will not normally accept:
4.1.1 Artefacts, specimens and other three-dimensional objects falling within the collecting policies of the Central Museums Service or other recognized museums unless officially presented to the archive. Where a special relationship between an artefact and associated archives a careful cross reference will be made.
4.1.2 Frames, tin trunks, deed chests, other containers and archivally unsuitable items. These will normally be disposed of by the Archive, with permission of the depositor, or returned.
4.1.3 Published or unpublished books and studies not meeting the criteria set out in 3.1.4-5 above.
4.1.4 Works of art, which fall within the collecting policies of local museums or art galleries.
4.1.5 Material which does not relate to the region, unless that material is integral to a collection whose greater part relates to Devon or Cornwall or the dividing of a collection would result in loss of archival value.
4.1.6 Material judged by the Archive not to be of permanent historical value.
4.1.7 Official public records will not be sought or acquired and transfer will be encouraged to the relevant statutory recognized public record office.

5. Disposal and Transfer
5.1 The Archive will aim to maintain the archival integrity of collections, but where it is considered appropriate may split collections (with the written permission of depositors) and transfer material to a recognised record office.
5.2 The Service will not seek to collect items or artefacts which fall outside the acquisitions criteria listed above (see item 3). Such items will be transferred to an appropriate library, museum or other institution.
5.3 Material not considered worthy of permanent preservation at any stage of processing by the Archive will be either returned to the depositor, or disposed of as confidential waste (with the written consent of the depositor). Such material may include items rejected for preservation in the course of controlled appraisal and sampling of large classes of records.
5.4 Material previously accepted, but which does not fall within the present or future acquisition criteria of the Archive, may be considered for reappraisal and de-accessioning. De-accessioning will only take place after obtaining, where necessary, the written permission of the depositor or the depositor’s successor in title.

6. Acquisition Policy Development
6.1 Policy development may be undertaken in the following ways:
6.1.1 Monitoring our present acquisitions to allow for more accurate targeting of future deposits.
6.1.2 The development of more focused selection/retention schedules in respect of major classes of archives to enable stricter and more uniform criteria for selection.
6.1.3 Implementation of a carefully-managed programme of de-accessioning, should material be identified which is no longer deemed worthy of permanent preservation by the Archive (without prejudice to the possible transfer elsewhere of such material).
6.1.4 This policy will be reviewed at five yearly intervals.

SD / 15/06/2009


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