The Archives and Special Collections (ARCS) serves all members of the University of Ottawa community as well as the public by effectively acquiring, preserving, and providing access to archival records in all media formats as well as rare books, periodicals, and other collections that support the teaching and research needs of our users.
The Archives and Special Collections (ARCS) fosters a spirit of integrity and identity at the University of Ottawa Library and is known for delivering highly effective and innovative information services in both French and in English. By actively acquiring and preserving the documentary evidence of significant movements and activities in Canada, most notably, from the Women’s Movement and the Canadian-Slovak experience, we support the further understanding and acknowledgement of the contributions of these groups and capture the stories of those who have been historically underrepresented in archives and libraries. ARCS is also known for its unique collection of rare books and other publications which enhance the learning and experience of students and researchers.
As a leader, within the library and the University as a whole, in activities related to digital preservation, ARCS increases awareness of the importance of taking action to ensure the long-term preservation and access to digital holdings.
This policy further defines the acquisition aspect of the mission to the archival holdings of Archives and Special Collection
1. Authority for acquisitions of archival material is given to ARCS through the University of Ottawa Library Collection Development Policy.
2. Acquisition of material offered to ARCS and interpretation of this policy will be the responsibility of the Head of ARCS with input from staff archivists.
3. Archival material at ARCS is acquired primarily through gift and donation.
4. Material offered to ARCS will be appraised to determine if it provides significant value to the collection as well as its significance in accordance with recognized archival principles and procedures, taking into account evidential, historical, and research values.
5. ARCS will consider accepting donations of material that are in good physical condition, are not duplicated in the collection, that physical space is available to house the material and that preservation capacity is available. Records on legacy machine-readable formats will also be appraised in relation to readability, preservation and access, including the availability of play back technology. Born-digital material will appraised for accessibility and availability of tools to process and preserve.
6. Material will not be accepted where the donor wishes to place unreasonable restrictions on access.
7. Significant records in audio-visual, graphic, and digital formats will be acquired if they meet broader acquisition guidelines and if they meet preservation and access requirements as outlined above.
8. Artifacts are generally not acquired unless there are special or compelling reasons for them to accompany acquired archival records.
9. Donations of born digital / electronic records must be accompanied by the Digital Records Appraisal Form.
10. The donation agreement/deed of gift must be signed by the donor before material is transferred to ARCS.
11. Shipping and Handling costs for transferring donations to ARCS must be borne by the donor.
12. Tax receipts will be issued for gifts that have a minimum value of $500 but will not necessarily follow in the same year as the donation is made. A tax receipt is issued only for the fair market value of items retained. The donor agrees to accept the evaluation done by the University. If the value of a single item in a donation exceeds $1,000, the donor agrees to pay the cost of an external evaluation.
13. Notwithstanding intrinsic or informational values of records, acquisition of records will take account of the authorized acquisition mandates of other archival institutions, resources required to make the material available for research purposes in a reasonable period of time, the extent and terms of any restrictions, the legal rights of the donor to place the records in the Archives, their relationship to the strengths and weaknesses in the existing holdings, the availability of appropriate storage facilities and the physical condition of the records in relation to the probability of being able to conserve them for a reasonable period of time.
14. Where published works are acquired by Archives & Special Collections with archival papers, those books and publications may be added to the ARCS Book Collection if they meet criteria as outlined in the Acquisition Policy for Published Material.
The main focus for acquisition of new archival material is the Women's Archives collection and the subset of this area - Canadian women in STEM. Accruals to existing fonds and collections are prioritized.
We do also continue to accept new acquisitions for the Slovak Archives collection.
Material unrelated to these two areas will not be accepted at this time due to capacity and staffing.
This policy further defines the acquisition aspect of the Mission Statement in relation to the published holdings of ARCS.
1. Authority for acquisitions is given to ARCS through the University of Ottawa Library Collection Development Policy.
2. Decisions regarding acquisitions and interpretation of this policy will be the responsibility of the Head of ARCS with input from staff archivists, librarians and faculty, in consultation with the Collection Strategy Unit
3. Material at ARCS is acquired through gift, donation, purchase or transfer from the general collection.
4. ARCS will consider accepting donations of material that are in good physical condition, are not duplicated in the collection, that physical space is available to house the material, that preservation capacity is available, that it provides significant value to the collection and meets the criteria described below before it is accepted.
5. The donation agreement/deed of gift must be signed by the donor before material is transferred to ARCS.
6. Shipping and Handling costs for transferring donations to ARCS must be borne by the donor.
7. Tax receipts will be issued for gifts that have a minimum value of $100 but will not necessarily follow in the same year as the donation is made. A tax receipt is issued only for the fair market value of items retained. The donor agrees to accept the evaluation done by the University. If the value of a single item in a donation exceeds $1,000, the donor agrees to pay the cost of an external evaluation.
8. Acquisitions made through purchase must align with the ARCS budget within the larger collection fund. Acquisition Services is responsible for ordering material.
9.Main languages represented in the collection are French, English and Latin.
1. Books and other printed material that match the current collection strengths as described under Collection Strengths and those with links to current and potential research at the University of Ottawa.
2. Early Imprints: Incunabula and medieval manuscripts, books or pamphlets printed in pre-confederation Canada (pre-1867); books or pamphlets produced in Europe pre 1830.
3. Extraordinary Imprints: Quality press printings, fine bindings, either the work of noteworthy binderies, or significant examples of types of binding such as vellum; miniature books (less than three inches in largest dimension) and other books of small, delicate, or unusual physical makeup.
4. Items of limited numbered editions, significant autographed copies, heavily-illustrated books, especially those with significant art work, volumes or portfolios of finely printed, loose, or tipped-in plates may be selected for inclusion into the collection.
5. Periodicals not otherwise collected by the library which match the subject area strengths in the archival collections held at ARCS.
6. Criteria including bibliographical completeness, scarcity, monetary value, subject matter, the importance of the author/publisher, origin marks, significant handwritten annotations and provenance will be taken into consideration.
7. Materials being considered for acquisition must be in good physical condition and must not require much preservation or conservation work. In most cases, ARCS will not acquire material that may pose a risk to the health and safety of staff or lead to possible contamination of the existing collection. This could include material that shows sign of mould, dampness, insect infestation, excessive dust or dirt, etc.
Canadian Feminist Periodicals: ARCS has the largest collection of Canadian feminist publications in Canada, comprising of periodicals and newsletters produced by feminist groups and associations across Canada. It currently stands at just over 1400 titles and includes national publications, as well as newsletters from small groups. These periodicals represent women from diverse regions of the country and cover many subjects such as women’s health, the right to abortion, child-care services, as well as literature, art, culture, and assistance for immigrants. ARCS will continue to acquire in this area.
Feminist Book Collection: Where published works are acquired by the Archives and Special Collections with archival papers, those books and publications may be added to the ARCS Women’s Book Collection (AWOM) if the printed material complements the primary material and is not available in the library’s main collections.
Slovak Periodicals: The Slovak collection contains a vast number of periodicals which document the activities of the Slovak community in Canada and the United States
Rare Books:: The Rare Book Collection includes approximately 14,000 printed books from the 15th to the 20th centuries which cover subjects including medicine, law, literature, philosophy, natural sciences, geography, science, architecture, history, arts, etc. The collection includes books published in Europe and America, but there is also a significant collection of Canadiana. Strengths of the collection include the history of translation and French literature.
Manuscripts: The Manuscript Collection is varied and includes items on a wide variety of subjects and forms. They are produced on parchment or paper and most are bound. The oldest manuscripts are dated from the end of the 15th century and the most recent ones are from the 20th century. Included are 2 Book of Hours.
Artists’ Books: The ARCS collection of art books and artist's books is quite varied. There are several dozen artist's books, here defined first as a work of art designed by an artist, as well as several classic books illustrated by artists, illustrators and painters (more the definition of an illustrated book). The collection also includes some art books, often published by private publishers.
Pamphlets: The pamphlet collection includes nearly 6,000 printed documents. The oldest pamphlet is dated 1774 and the most recent is from the 1990s. Due to their smaller size and lower quality binding (if present), pamphlets were typically ephemeral and tended to disappear quickly from circulation. The collection at the Archives and Special Collections is thus of importance and contains several very rare items. The ARCS collection of pamphlets includes a large selection of pamphlets published in Canada. The oldest of these were published by the famous printer Ludger Duvernay in the first half of the 19th century, including several scholarly manuals.
Facsimiles: ARCS will acquire reproductions of manuscripts and printed material which support teaching and research where originals are not available.