Archives and Collection Development Policy

Archives and Special Collections Unit (CWUASC) comprises:


  • University Archives (CWU Institutional History).
  • Manuscripts/Local and Regional History (Primary resources: such as personal papers, diaries, organizational records, photographic images).

Special Collections

  • Central Washington History and Culture Collection.
  • Regional Literature Collection.
  • Rare Books Collection.
  • Central Washington University History/Publications Collection.
  • Children's Literature Collection.
  • Darwin Goodey Native and Western American Art, Culture, and History Collection.

University Archives

The CWU Libraries, Archives Special Collections Unit acquires and collects the inactive/archival records of administrative, academic, and student organizations, including records produced or received by the Board of Trustees, university president, provost, vice presidents, college deans and directors, academic departments and programs, university centers, student organizations, and other administrative and institutional units and offices.

Institutional Records Acquired Which May Include But Are Not Limited To:

  • Annual budget and audit reports.
  • Agenda and minutes of meetings.
  • Annual reports, budget, audit, committee, and task force reports.
  • Statistical summaries, press releases, correspondence and memoranda.
  • Other papers created in the process of the university carrying out its academic goal and mission.

Donating to Archives and Special Collection

In compliance with the State of Washington1, and in collaboration with CWU Business Services and Contracts/Records Management, a signed transfer form (internal CWU units, departments, and organizations) or deed of gift (external to CWU, and also includes Alumni Relations and CWU Foundation) must be submitted and executed before materials may be accepted by the Archives and Special Collections. Any materials transferred to the University Archives should remain in the order in which they were created and maintained by the originating office or department.

1 The Records Management Program at Central Washington University provides for the identification, management, and preservation of active, inactive, and archival records. The program operates under Public Records Law, RCW 40.14 (Preservation and Destruction of Public Records) and RCW 40.10 (Protection of Essential Records).

University records by statutory definition are public property and must be maintained, transferred, and destroyed according to records retention schedules approved by the State Records Committee.

All items housed in the Archives and Special Collections are property of the Board of Trustees of Central Washington University and are subject to state and federal records law.

Information regarding CWU Records Management and transfer forms may be found here.

Electronic and Paper Items Commonly Transferred to the University Archives

  • Yearbooks, catalogs, course schedules, student newspapers, alumni magazines, departmental and program newsletters, brochures, event programs, and announcements, faculty/staff and student directories, lists and rosters, and ephemeral material printed and published by the University.
  • Records on campus buildings, such as blueprints, building models, plans, etc.
  • Personal papers (with appropriate copyright/release form), prominent alumni and retired faculty; video/oral histories (with appropriate copyright/ownership release form).
  • Alumni memoirs, faculty and department subject files, student club/organizational records, diaries, reunion books, scrapbooks, and materials related to the work conducted at the university.
  • Visual materials, such as photographs, films, and video recordings relating to the campus, university personnel, alumni, and students.
  • Artifacts and memorabilia related to the University's history.
  • Electronic or digital materials may be submitted in a non-proprietary format that may be migrated, and or transferred to increase or enhance accessibility.

Items Not Generally Accepted by the University Archives

  • Records of specific financial transactions.
  • Routine letters of transmittal and acknowledgement.
  • Non-personally addressed correspondence from other departments or colleges on or off campus.
  • Questionnaires, reports, and drafts that have been published.
  • Duplicated material and mass generated commercial documents.


CWUASC will actively consider personal papers, collections, images, diaries and other primary resource materials that have local and regional significance (including papers of alumni, families, and organizations with strong ties to CWU and local and regional history).

Special Collections/Rare Books

Central Washington History and Culture Collection

The Central Washington History and Culture Collection is a multi-disciplinary collection focusing on the eight counties of central Washington State: Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Okanogan, and Yakima. Special attention is given to Native American populations of the region such as the Yakama and Klickitat, as well as to early exploration and pioneer settlement of the area.

Regional Literature Collection

The Regional Literature Collections contains literature and fiction/ non-fiction relating to central Washington, and publications by local authors.

Rare Books Collection

The Rare Books Collection contains printed materials in a variety of subject areas. Current subjects include: Aesop’s Fables, The U.S. Civil War, Children’s Literature Collection, and other selected titles.

Central Washington University History Collection

The Central Washington University History Collection contains published materials documenting the history of Central and its programs, such as college bulletins, yearbooks, institutional histories, faculty publications, selected textbooks, and other related material.

Children's Literature Collection

The Children's Literature Special Collection contains historic children's books that were originally part of the Curriculum Lab of the Normal School.

Darwin Goodey Native and Western American Art, Culture, and History Collection

The Darwin Goodey Native and Western American Art, Culture, and History Collection consists of books on Native American history, culture and art. It also encompasses published works on 19th Century Western American history and art with a strong focus on the Pacific Northwest.

Questions regarding the University Archives and Special Collections should be submitted to the University Archivist at 509-963-1717 or