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Athabasca University

Archives FAQ

Q. What is the role of an archives?

A. Archives work to acquire, preserve, and make available material collected under the terms of a particular mandate. Archives ensure that records of enduring research value and use are preserved for future generations, linking together the past, the present, and the future.

Q. What is the role of an archivist?

A. Archivists are responsible for appraising, acquiring, arranging, describing, preserving, and providing access to records of enduring value. They do so according to professional archival principles and standards to protect the records’ authenticity and context.

Q. Why does Athabasca University keep an archives?

A. The Thomas A. Edge Archives & Special Collections at Athabasca University serves a number of purposes: it preserves and provides access and reference services for the University’s historical records and archival research collections; it aids in the management of the University’s current business records; it provides services that help the University comply with its legal obligations as they relate to university records; and it preserves the University’s corporate memory and a record of its place in the history of higher education.

Q. What is the acquisition mandate of the Thomas A. Edge Archives & Special Collections at Athabasca University?

A. The Archives collects records pertaining to Athabasca University and related organizations and institutions. We also collect records pertaining to various environmental organizations and issues that will help support the research carried out by the Athabasca River Basin Research Institute, and records pertaining to women and women’s issues that help support the work done by the Alberta Women’s Memory Project.

Q. Do you have old photographs?

A. Yes we do. You may request copies of photographs using our Research Request form. Some of our photographs can be found online in the Thomas A. Edge Archives & Special Collections Digitization Portal.

Q. Do you have copies of old course materials?

A. Yes we do. You may request copies of old course materials using our Research Request form.

Q. Where can I get help with my research?

A. The Archives website has a number of Finding Aids available on our website, including fonds descriptions of our private collections, and a list of University periodicals and committee records that are available. You may also search our Database for records. If you have a specific research question you would like answered, you may use our Research Request form and we will contact you as soon as possible concerning your request.l

Q. Where do I find the Archives, and what should I expect when I get there?

A. The Archives is located on the second floor of the Academic Research Building located in Athabasca University in Athabasca, Alberta. The holdings of the Archives are open to faculty, staff, students, and the public for research from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Researchers may access the records on site, but it is strongly suggested that you contact us first using our Research Request form regarding your research needs so we can make sure we have the materials on hand that you are looking for.

Q. Who can use the archives?

A. Anyone.

Q. What can archival records be used for?

A. For class projects or papers, or to learn more about Athabasca University, student organizations, faculty, or alumni.

Q. Can I receive copies of materials contained in a collection?

A. Yes, researchers can fill out a research agreement with the Archives and copies of materials from collections that are open to researchers can be provided. There may be some limitations as to what can be provided, depending upon the volume needed and the fragility, size, or type of item requested.

Updated June 01 2016 by Student & Academic Services

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