GUIDELINES FOR PREPARING ORGANIZATIONAL RECORDS FOR
THE BILLY GRAHAM CENTER ARCHIVES
1. The Archives is attempting to gather the records which tell the story of Protestant nondenominational evangelism and missions. The types of documents we are interested in are those which tell how an organization began, how it developed, and what it does. An historic document worth preserving does not have to be a letter signed by a famous person or a proclamation about some world-shaking event. It could just as well be an interoffice memo that illustrates how or why the staff of an organization goes about doing its work.
2. We like to receive as complete a record from an organization as possible rather than just selections from its files. Here are the some of the types of materials which often contain worthwhile information: correspondence, journals, ledgers, diaries, memos, minutes of meetings, press kits, biographies, statistic sheets, procedure books, audio tapes, films, photographs, slides, negatives, video tapes, maps, posters, layouts, brochures, phonograph records, scrapbooks, proceedings of consultations, and microforms.
3. There are a few types of records we would not be interested in, such as: housekeeping records, blank applications, purchase orders, slips, tickets, vouchers, invoices, more than one copy of duplicate material such as form letters. We prefer to do the weeding ourselves. We will return to your office any materials not needed by the Archives if your office wants them.
4. Records should be sent in their original filing order if possible. We will not rearrange them but will keep them in that order.
5. Only files which are no longer in regular use should be sent to the Archives. If you need it every week, don't send it. If you look at the file only a couple of times a year, then send it to us and we will look up the information you need when you need it. The staff of the organization should formulate a general rule on when a record becomes inactive. It might be after five years or it might be after six months.
6. You need to follow these steps when sending materials to the Archives:
a. There is a charge of $50 per cubic foot for material the Archives accepts. The charge is based on the volume of material actually added to the Archives. If fourteen cubic feet of material are sent and the Archives accessions ten of that fourteen, then the charge is $500. The Archives will send the donor an invoice after the material has been inventoried.
b. Each box must be numbered on the side, giving the number of that particular box in relation to the total number boxes (“Box 2 of 18, box 3 of 18, etc.”)
c. There needs to be an inventory that includes every box in the shipment, giving the box number, the office that the files are from, a line of description, and the dates covered. These do not need to be elaborate, but should give a general idea of the contents.
Example:Box 1 Executive director’s office
Trip reports, 1980-1985
Box 2Executive director’s office
Correspondence with board members, 1980-1982
Box 3Personal office
Inactive Personnel files A-F, 1950-1980
Box 4Business Office
Foundations files; 1970-1992
d. The Archives can send you archival record cartons to ship the materials in. The amount you owe on the shipment you send will then be reduced by the amount equal to the cost of the number of boxes you return to the Archives (If you request ten boxes, and return eight, the fee would be $400 less the cost of the eight boxes; the fee will only be deducted by the cost of the number of record cartons you return.. Contact the staff at the numbers in paragraph 9 to arrange for boxes.
e. Include on the inventory the name and phone number of the person preparing the inventory and the name and phone number of the person who is the organization’s liaison with the Archives.
f. When the inventory is finished, send it to the BGC Archives by surface mail, e-mail (email@example.com), or fax (630) 752-5910). When the staff receives it there, they will call up the liaison to talk about the shipment and give the go ahead to send it. If the BGC Archives staff has not given approval before the shipment is sent, the shipment will not be accepted.
g. When labeling boxes of files, identify materials by office rather than personal name. Thus label materials “Executive director’s office” rather than “Joe Smith.” This is more informative to people who do not know that Joe Smith was executive director
h. Descriptions of boxes on inventories should not be so general as to be useless. A list saying box 1 contains “files” or “materials” doesn’t say anything.
i. Shipping address is: Archives of the Billy Graham Center, 500 College Avenue, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL 60187.
7. Before shipping the records, your office staff should decide what restrictions, if any, should be placed on their use; what part of the records these restrictions should apply to; how long these restrictions should last; and what person has the authority to grant special permission to use the records. Thus, one group of records may come from the executive director's office with the restriction that folders fourteen through thirty in box eight may not be used for ten years without the written permission of the executive director.
8. Materials received are professionally cared for. They will be placed in acid-free boxes and stored in a controlled environment. The materials will be listed and described and a copy of that description will be sent to the office of origin.
9. The staff of the Archives will be happy to answer any questions. The address is: Archives of the Billy Graham Center, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL 60l87. The phone number is 630/752-5910 and the e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. URL: http://www2.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/archhp1.html