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Varsity Letters: Documenting Modern Colleges and Universities

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Varsity Letters: Documenting Modern Colleges and Universities

Helen W. Samuels

1993 SAA Waldo Gifford Leland Award

This functional study of colleges and universities is intended to aid those responsible for the documentation of these institutions. The functional approach provides the means to achieve a comprehensive understanding of an institution and its documentation: a knowledge of what is to be documented and the problems of gathering the desired documentation.

The book is divided into nine sections. An introduction contains a rationale for the functional approach to documenting the institution, and a model scheme for institutions of higher learning based on the seven broad functions characteristic of colleges. Seven chapters then examine each of these broad functional areas in turn: "Confer Credentials," "Convey Knowledge," "Foster Socialization," "Conduct Research," "Sustain the Institution," "Provide Public Service," and "Promote Culture." Within each chapter the author has followed a parallel plan of arrangement in which the sub-functions are identified, their documentary problems reviewed, and recommendations given to assist the archivist in documenting the function. A final chapter defines the purpose of an Institutional Documentation Plan and outlines the steps to be taken in developing and implementing one.

"In this new economy of documentation the changed role of the archivist -- from keeper to creator -- and the fixed purpose of archival records, as the evidence of archivists' ideas (whether the documents are derived from natural activities or are conscious products the creation of which archivists have stimulated), are the two fundamental conclusions of this book that have profound implications for us. These should not be downplayed, dismissed, and above all they should not be ignored."
--BARBARA L. CRAIG, Archivaria (1993)

Society of American Archivists and
Scarecrow Press, Inc. (1992)
296 pp., soft cover

Product Code: BOOKJNT-0196
Qty Available: 6



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