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Special Collections & Archives Collection Development Policy

I. Statement of Purpose

Special Collections & Archives is part of the Monroe Library of Loyola University New Orleans. The primary mission of the Monroe Library is to serve the teaching and research needs of Loyola University faculty and students as well as the research needs of the broader scholarly community. Special Collections & Archives supports this mission by collecting, preserving, and making available published materials, manuscripts, and archives that are rare, unique, or in some other way extraordinary.

II. Collecting Priorities for Manuscripts and Archives

Archival repositories collect original documentary materials that possess long-term value. Each repository tries to distinguish itself by collecting manuscripts and archives in certain subject fields.

Loyola's Special Collections & Archives emphasizes the importance of collecting original materials related to the Society of Jesus, Loyola University New Orleans, the city of New Orleans, and specific fields in which Loyola faculty and alumni have excelled or in which Jesuit values have found expression. Particular emphasis is placed on collecting in the following subject areas.

Communications and Mass Media

We collect materials related to the fields of communication, especially as they pertain to the New Orleans region.

C. Social Justice: We collect materials related to the quest for social justice, particularly programs and projects dealing with civil rights, labor, and the environment in the New Orleans region.

Performing Arts

We collect materials related to individuals who have contributed to the performing arts in New Orleans; to individuals from the New Orleans area who have distinguished themselves in the performing arts nationally or internationally; and to performing arts organizations in the greater New Orleans area.

New Orleans Writers

We collect the papers of New Orleans writers as well as the papers of nonresident authors whose writings concern New Orleans.

Archives of Loyola University New Orleans

We collect university publications, photographs, and graduate theses. We house university records dating roughly from 1911 to 1980. And we selectively collect university records dating after 1980.

III. Collecting Priorities for Published Materials

Special Collections & Archives collects published materials that support its unique manuscript and archival holdings. These may include, but not be limited to, the following: bibliographies and other reference books, books by authors and other individuals with manuscripts in the collection, and books pertinent to organizations whose records have been collected. Additional published materials include those in the following areas:

The History of New Orleans and of Louisiana

Newly published materials are actively collected, and older and out of print materials are selectively collected.

Jesuits and Catholic Church

In support of the Center for Study of Catholics in the South, books relating to the Jesuits and the Catholic Church in New Orleans and Louisiana are collected. Materials about the Jesuit Order and about the Catholic Church in the South are selectively collected.

New Orleans Authors

Books by New Orleans authors whether or not their papers are archived at Loyola are collected, with consideration to not duplicating strong collections at nearby institutions. Whenever feasible, new acquisitions will include the authors' signatures and/or inscriptions.

New Orleans Imprints

Books of all periods with New Orleans imprints are collected.

Antiquarian Books

For the purposes of this policy, antiquarian books are defined as those printed prior to 1800. Special Collections & Archives includes antiquarian books that support manuscript collections, as well as those that that represent milestones in the development of printing from Gutenberg to the end of the hand press period.

Fine Press Books/Artists' Books

For the period following 1800, the collection includes books that were printed, usually in limited editions, on hand presses. These books consciously emulate those of the hand press period, emphasizing the artistry of book components: type, paper, method of impression, illustrations, and bindings. Also included are collects artists' books, generally produced after 1960, that use the book form as a vehicle to create a work of art and which may be produced in varying media.

Walker Percy and His Circle

Works by and about Walker Percy are actively collected. In addition, we collect works by and about individuals with a literary or personal relationship to Percy.

IV. Acquisition Guidelines

Special Collections & Archives adheres to the following guidelines when collecting manuscripts, archives, and published materials.

Deed of Gift

Donations must be accompanied by a legal transfer of title, a deed of gift or deposit, or other official acknowledgement.

Loans and Deposits

Materials on loan or deposit are only accepted for extraordinary reasons and usually with the understanding that the materials are to be donated outright at a later date.


Due to legal considerations, no appraisals of donations will be made by the library staff. Donors desiring an appraisal will be provided the names of qualified appraisers. And when appropriate, the Office of Institutional Advancement will work with a donor to obtain an appraisal and to obtain information on the tax benefits of gifts.

Closed Collections

Collections closed to public access in perpetuity will not be accepted.


Any materials within the collections may be deaccessioned, subject to the terms of acquisition and the notification of the donor or the donor's heirs.

Archival Cooperation

In the interest of cooperation among archival repositories, offered materials that fall outside the collecting purview of Special Collections & Archives will be referred to an appropriate archival repository.


When possible, new collections will be considered for digitization, in whole or in part, for inclusion in an online repository.

V. Review and Revision of the Collection Development Policy

To keep abreast of changing conditions and new opportunities, the Special Collections & Archives Team will meet during the spring semester of each academic year to review and, if necessary, revise this collection development policy.

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