Donate Records of Your Student Group

The staff of the Phoenix works in their office, circa 1950.

Student activities are an important part of college life and critical to understanding the college’s history. At the Swarthmore College Archives, our mission is to preserve and share the documentary history of the college for current and future generations, and we hope you will help us by including YOUR student group as part of that story.

Your group might not have many records. Perhaps all you have is a website, a few photos in Google Drive, or a file folder of papers from your predecessor. Whatever you have, we’d love it for the College Archives!

To begin the process of donating your records to the College Archives, please fill out this Student Organizations Records Transfer Form. We welcome questions at archives@swarthmore.edu.

Here are some examples of archival records:

  • Constitution, bylaws, member handbooks, and policy statements
  • Annual reports or committee reports
  • Meeting minutes and supporting documentation
  • Reports or key financial documentation
  • Membership lists
  • Organizational histories, reference files, or research material for your group
  • Websites, blogs, and other social media (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr)
  • Publications published by your group (newsletters, fliers, brochures, posters, press releases)
  • Photographs, scrapbooks, audio recordings, video, clippings, and scrapbooks
  • Correspondence that documents programs, activities, and events

These materials are not archival records:

  • Rough drafts and duplicates
  • Books, newspaper clippings, journal articles, or other reference materials
  • Artifacts like trophies or award plaques
  • Routine correspondence like requests and acknowledgments
  • Routine financial documents like receipts, purchase orders, canceled checks
  • Blank forms, letterhead, or other stationery

Manage your files going forward!

To make it easy to manage all of your records and to pass them along to your successor or to us at the Archives, we recommend asking ITS for a departmental Google Drive folder for your group. (About departmental Google Drive folders [AODocs]) Within your group’s folder, create a subfolder called “Archive” and keep important records there. Share the folder with "fhl-staff-perms@swarthmore.edu" as VIEW ONLY. This way, archives staff will always be able to access and preserve your group’s key documents. Request a departmental Google Drive Folder from ITS here. (Note that you will need a faculty/staff member sponsor to request a departmental Google Drive Folder.)

Please send paper copies of your newsletters to the Friends Historical Library via campus mail and subscribe "archives@swarthmore.edu" to your e-newsletter and/or listserv.

For more tips on managing your records, we recommend following this guide from Oregon State University, Best Practices for Organizing and Saving Stories.