Scope & Mission
The Queens University of Charlotte Archives collects and makes available materials that document and reflect the history and development of Queens University and the surrounding communities. The Archives welcomes Queens students, faculty, alumnae, and administrators, as well as other interested researchers.
The University Archives contains official university administrative and committee records, publications, photographs, audio-visual materials, memorabilia, and manuscript collections of alumnae and current and former members of the faculty and administration.
Archives are collections of materials and artifacts kept and preserved by organizations like universities or historical societies. Archival materials are often unpublished and are preserved for their intrinsic or research value. The contents of the collections range widely, from those related to an organization’s history, to rare books collections and special collections that might be subject-specific. Archival materials might be paper documents, such as personal letters, meeting minutes, concert programs and photographs, but could also be less conventional historical artifacts like letter jackets or trophies. Archival collections may have different names depending on the kinds of items they house. For example, some collections of rare books are referred to as Special Collections and may not even have "archive" in their title. For our purposes, we will simply use the term "archives."
A special collection is a group of items, such as rare books or documents, that are either irreplaceable or unusually rare and valuable. For this reason special collections are stored separately from the regular library collections in a secure location with environmental controls to preserve the items for posterity. Special collections also include rare items that are focused on a single topic, such as North Carolina history or Scottish poetry and literature. Special collections are created to benefit scholars by grouping related materials together in one repository. Often a repository will specialize in a limited number of subject areas for their special collections, to distinguish the institution from other libraries.
While archives and libraries are frequently found together and have a lot in common, they have somewhat different missions and functions. Libraries usually allow for material to circulate, and they collect mainly published works. Archives generally do not allow materials to leave the premises, and most of the materials collected are unique and irreplaceable.
Archives offer you a unique chance to do research based upon primary source materials. Some professions or disciplines require archival research as the foundation for many projects or papers. When you choose a particular source from an archival collection, you might be the first person to look at that document since the archivist who cataloged it. Using archives will ground your research in a particular historical context and could move an existing project in new directions.
While you should always refer to the archives website before visiting, the following pages will give an overview of how to prepare for your visit. Archives differ from libraries in several important ways, necessitating advanced planning and preparation. For example, archival materials are often very delicate and sometimes are one-of-a-kind. As a result, you cannot take them home with you. So, it is very important to get the most out of your time there.