III. Collection 

A. Collecting Focus 

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

SHL prefers acquisitions of materials related to the history of the American western migration and the history of the Klamath Basin. Within these guidelines, the SHL 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 

Materials related to the history and culture of the region known as the Land of Lakes and the Klamath Basin comprise SHL's robust collections.


3. Time Period  

Materials in the collections cover a period from prehistory to the present. 

The primary focus is on the 19th and 20th-century materials. 

All donations and purchases fit within this time. Any acquisitions outside of this time are reviewed case by case. 


B.  Acquisitions/Accessions 

1. Donations 

The SHL accepts donations in various formats if they fall within the library's mission and its collection scope. Formats may include books, manuscripts, photographs, audio and moving image recordings, maps, and historical and artistic objects. The SHL accepts personal and family papers (letters, diaries, speeches and lectures, albums and scrapbooks, memoirs and reminiscences, photographs, professional files, genealogical information, and audio-visual materials). Other collections include 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).  

The Board of Governors plays an advisory role in the acceptance of gifts, donations and purchases.  

The SHL conveys ownership of all acquisitions to the Oregon Tech Foundation in the SHL trust. 


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

  • The gift's importance to the overall development of the collection as articulated by the SHL mission 

  • The appropriateness of the gift to the SHL 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 


The library will not accept materials irreparably damaged by fire, water, insects or mold. 


Some donations and gifts might be considered more appropriate for the Oregon Tech 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 an extensive collection or a collection containing oversize items, media, or artifacts.  

Unless the donor specifies otherwise, the donated materials are available for access and use by the public without restrictions. When reviewing materials for donation, the SHL or donor may determine that some materials are sensitive. In that case, the SHL will restrict access to parts of the donation to protect the privacy of the donor or other persons. Although SHL desires to make all papers and records freely accessible to researchers, the library may agree to reasonable restrictions on donations. In case of donor-imposed restrictions on access, SHL and the donor must agree on a future termination date for the restriction. 

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 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 


Decisions to accept gifts and donations are subject to the following considerations: 

  • Unless otherwise restricted by copyright or a donor agreement with SHL, all rights are conveyed to the library at the time of acquisition 

  • SHL does not assume responsibility for the inappropriate use of literary or copyright restrictions 

  • SHL and the Oregon Tech 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 respective 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 SHL collections, the library encourages the donors of materials to transfer any copyright they may possess to the library in the Deed of Gift form.  


2.  Purchase 

a. Allocation of Funds 

The Shaw Board of Governors uses this policy as a guideline to determine acquisition spending in the annual budget. 


C. Material Selection  

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

  • 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 


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.  

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

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

The Board of Governors members voice their suggestions on acquisitions. The Board receives information about the new additions via email, and during online or in-person meetings. 


DCollection Levels 

Library collection levels vary from Basic Information to Comprehensive. 



Subject Area                                                                      


     Collecting Level 


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




Western migration in the United States 




United States Civil War 




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, the processing is based on the "More Product, Less Process" principles by Meissner and Greene (See Appendix 2) to eliminate processing backlogs and make archival collections available for use as soon as possible.  

This approach includes: 

  • 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 


Collection maintenance activities include rehousing the acquired items in archival boxes, folders, and sleeves to ensure their long-term preservation. 

Whenever possible, the Oregon Tech library staff repairs materials from the SHL collections. Materials not suitable for repair reside in a designated location inside the SHL. 


F. Access 

Arrangement of items in the collection is done by type of materials: monographs, photographs, maps, etc. Another type of arrangement is by donor names in the case of substantial donations. 

A system of numbering and labeling the stack areas aids in locating items in the collections, while labels with call number ranges were added to the bookshelves for easier book location.  

The Oregon Tech Library online catalog and regional and national catalogs contain descriptive bibliographic records, including links to the Archives West website. Archives West contains finding aids (descriptions) of the collections.  

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 on the Archives West website were created by librarians for the largest document and photograph collections in SHL. Adding finding aids to the website is an ongoing process. 


G. Removal of Materials from the Collection (Deaccessioning)  

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

The OT Foundation and the Board of Governors are consulted about the deaccessioning activities.  

SHL 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 in an outdated medium with no appropriate equipment  

  • Externally imposed restrictions, such as donor agreements, are too restrictive 

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

The OT Foundation does take exception to giving away the materials to the general 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 SHL by giving it to a similar organization or for a purpose that furthers the SHL mission 

For outdated media, steps may be taken to migrate the information to a new format.