III. Collection

A. Collecting Focus

The Shaw Historical Library strives to develop and maintain a comprehensive collection of primary and secondary source materials, which are related to the history and culture of the Land of the Lakes, and inspire discovery of the region’s heritage.

A preference in acquisitions is given to materials related to the history of the American western migration and the history of the Klamath Basin. Within these guidelines the Library also strives to support the curricular and research needs of Oregon Tech faculty and students.

   1. Subject areas

Main subject areas include:

  • Railroad
  • Logging and lumber industry
  • Native American history
  • Agriculture (farming and ranching)
  • Water use in the Klamath River Watershed
  • Japanese Internment in WWII
  • Crater Lake National Park and Lava Beds National Monument

The Library collection is projected to remain limited, selective and focused on the subject areas noted above.

       2. Geographic Scope

The Library’s collecting area is comprised of the materials related to the history and culture of the region known as the Land of the Lakes. History of the Klamath Basin Area is strongly represented.

      3. Time Period

The time span of the subject matter represented in the collection encompasses material from prehistory to the present time.

Primary focus is on the chronological periods from the 1800s to the end of the 20th century.

All donations and purchases are reviewed in regards to their fitting into this time frame. Any acquisitions outside of this time period are reviewed on a case by case basis.

B.  Acquisitions/Accessions

      1. Donations

The library accepts donations in a wide variety of formats if they fit the mission of the library and its collection scope: books, manuscripts, photographs, audio and video recordings, maps, historical and artistic objects, personal and family papers (letters, diaries, speeches and lectures, albums and scrapbooks, memoirs and reminiscences, photographs, professional files, genealogical information, films, video tapes and audio tapes), and organizational records (articles of incorporation, constitutions, bylaws, correspondence, planning documents, architectural records, legal documents, diaries, minutes of meetings, reports, memoranda, newsletters, directories, financial documents, press releases, membership records and research and subject files).

Acceptance of gifts and donations must be approved by the Board of Governors.

Ownership of gifts and donations is conveyed to the Oregon Tech Foundation in trust of the Shaw Historical Library.


Decisions to accept gifts and donations are based upon the following considerations:

Unless otherwise restricted by copyright or by the donor, and agreed to by the Library, all literary rights are conveyed to the Library at the time of acquisition.

The Library does not assume the responsibility for misuse of literary or copyright restrictions.

The Library and the Foundation work with donors to properly document the donations.

Donations may be tax-deductible. United States Internal Revenue Service regulations prohibit librarians from acting as appraisers of materials given to their institutions.

             a. Copyright

Copyright belongs to the creator of writings and other original works (such as photographs and music.) Or the copyright may belong to a person or entity that paid for the original work. Copyrights are legally transferrable. To enable scholars to quote readily from the Library’s collections, the Shaw Historical Library encourages the donor of materials to transfer any copyright which they may possess in the donated papers to the Library.

      2.  Purchase

            a. Allocation of Funds

The portion of the budget to be spent on acquisitions is determined annually by the Shaw Board of Governors using this policy as guidelines.

C. Material Selection

      1. Selection Criteria: The following criteria should be used in selecting materials:

  • The importance of the gift for the overall development of the collection as articulated by the mission of the library
  • The appropriateness of the gift for the Shaw Historical Library as compared to other institutions (e.g. liberal arts universities)
  • The uniqueness or availability of the offered material
  • The research value of the material
  • The restrictions on the handling, processing and storage or access to the materials imposed by the donor
  • The cost of processing, preserving, providing access to and storing the offered materials
  • The prestigious or historical importance associated with the donor
  • Physical space constraints


    Some donations and gifts might be considered more appropriate for the Main Library collection.

    Refused materials are returned to the donor if requested.

    Donors may be asked to provide descriptive information for donated collections.

    Donors may be asked to pay a one-time fee to offset the cost of archival quality containers for a particularly large collection or a collection containing oversize items, media, or artifacts.

    Donated materials are made available for access and use by the public without restrictions unless specified by donors. In the course of reviewing materials for donation, the Library or donor may determine that some materials are sensitive in nature. In that case access to parts of the donation will be restricted to protect the privacy of the donor or others. Although the Library desires to make all papers and records freely accessible to researchers, the Library may agree to reasonable restrictions to donations. In case of donor-imposed restrictions on access a termination date is stipulated.

    Unless specified differently, the library reserves the right to:

  •  transfer, sell, discard or dispose of all or a portion of a donation
  • duplicate, reproduce, scan or otherwise reformat the donated materials for purposes of preservation, display, security and/or dissemination for research, education, and use within the limits of copyright law
  • exhibit the contents (or preservation copies) of its collection on campus, in the community, and on the internet
  • without notice or fee to the donor, publish in whatever form it chooses, information, photographs, and other content of its collection


  • Relevance of the subject matter and its time period to the collection
  • Timeliness or permanence of the work
  • Uniqueness
  • Authoritativeness
  • Enduring historical value
  • Availability of the material in the local area


natural history and resources                                                                 5     


Western migration in the United States                                               2


United States Civil War                                                                           2


For explanation of each collecting level see Appendix 3.

E. Processing

Accessions to the collection are catalogued and processed according to established professional standards.

In addition, processing is done in accordance with the More Product, Less Process principles by Meissner and Greene (See Appendix 2) with the goal of eliminating processing backlogs and making archival collections available for use as soon as possible. This approach includes:

  • 2.  Limitations

    When new materials for a specific collection are proposed, the maximum size of a specific collection is determined by the Collection Development Focus and the amount of physical space available to house and protect the collection appropriately.

    The Library generally does not acquire duplicate materials due to limitations in physical space.

    The Library does not acquire materials recorded on outdated media (e.g. magnetic tapes) at this time due to its uncertain quality and lack of equipment.

    All purchases must be approved by the Board of Governors.

    The BOG members voice their suggestions on acquisitions, and are informed of the new additions via email, in person during meetings and online via the Shaw Library website.

    D.  Collection Levels

    Library collection levels vary from Basic Information to Comprehensive.


    Subject Area      Collecting Level

    19th and 20th century Land of Lakes human history,

  • minimally processing collections quickly and efficiently and making them available to researchers as soon as possible;
  • creating a collection or subgroup level record for ALL materials before proceeding to series and file level processing;
  • adopting preservation actions such as re-foldering and re-housing in proportion to the condition of the existing containers and vulnerability of the materials. Do the minimum required to stabilize;
  • taking a user-oriented approach to collection description and access


    Holdings maintenance activities include rehousing the acquired items in archival boxes, folders and sleeves to ensure the long-term preservation of materials in the Library collections.

    Whenever possible, materials from the Shaw Historical Library collection are repaired by the Main Library staff. Those materials that are not feasible to repair are currently kept in a designated location inside the Shaw Historical Library.

    F. Access

    Items in the collection are arranged by type (monographs, photographs, maps, etc.) and by donor names in the case of substantial donations.

    A system of numbering and labeling the stack areas was started to aid in locating items in the collections: labels with call number ranges were added to the book shelves in the front room and in the Helfrich room.

    Descriptive bibliographic records are included in the Oregon Tech Library online catalog as well as regional and international catalogs.  Links to the Archives West website are added to the catalog records.

    Records providing information about the collection include common principles of provenance, original order, and collective description. The finding aid is the most common descriptive tool.

    Finding aids exist for the largest document and photograph collections on the Archives West website at: http://archiveswest.orbiscascade.org . Librarians received the necessary training to continue adding finding aids to the website.

    G. Removal of Materials from the Collection (Deaccessioning)

    Deaccessioning of materials is an integral part of the Library collection management activities. It is performed to retain a manageable and selective collection of materials, focused on the areas and chronological period noted above. The deselection of materials no longer appropriate or of no lasting value eliminates clutter and ensures the appropriate housing conditions for the remaining materials.

    Deaccessioning activities are performed with the written consent of the Oregon Tech Foundation and BOG.

    The Library makes the deselection decisions about materials – processed or not – based on the following criteria:

    • The material does not fall within the scope of current collecting policies
    • The material is of no continuing value to the collection
    • The material has deteriorated beyond repair
    • The material is a duplicate of those already in the collection
    • The audio or video material is recorded on outdated medium with no appropriate equipment available
    • Externally imposed restrictions, such as donor agreements, are too restrictive

Deaccessioned materials may be returned to the donor, offered to a more appropriate repository, offered to be sold via a vendor or discarded.

The Foundation would take exception to giving away the materials to community, board members, staff, or others, unless 1) there was an attempt to sale the asset but it was unsuccessful and it was documented or 2) the gift would further the mission of the Shaw by giving it to a similar organization or for a purpose that furthers the Shaw’s mission.

In case of outdated media, steps may be taken to transfer recordings to more up-to-date media.