Archives Policy

Last revision: 2/8/2018
Download a PDF version

A. Scope
The Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) Archives’ mission is to appropriately evaluate, acquire, preserve, and organize the records and artifacts of the Academy’s rich history. The MMA Archives also provides appropriate access to these records for historical, legal, fiscal or administrative value.

B. Purpose of Policy
The purpose of this policy is to define the criteria used by the Academy Archives’ staff to determine which records and artifacts possess enduring value and should, therefore, be added to and preserved by the MMA Archives. By adhering to these criteria, the MMA Archives will continue to manage valuable and relevant archival collections for the Academy.

C. Policy
The MMA Archives collects records (paper, visual and electronic), papers and manuscripts, publications, and other historical materials documenting the intellectual, cultural, administrative, and social life of MMA from the 1891 to the present. The MMA Archives serves as the principal repository for the historical and institutional records of the Academy. The MMA Archives seeks to document the faculty, students, and academic programs at the Academy.
The Archives also collects historical materials that support the core curriculum of the Academy, which includes manuscripts, photographs, video, and film materials, oral histories, and other materials.

The MMA Archives’ collections consist of the following:

  • The History of the Academy - Includes photographs, slides, and other ephemera of MMA throughout its history.
  • Alumni Collections - Individual collections of materials related to specific alumni.
  • Yearbooks - This collection includes 3 yearbook copies for each year, starting from 1945. The 1970 yearbook is missing.
  • Alumni Authored Books - Includes alumni written works, with a preference for autographed copies
  • Graduation and Conduct Books - Graduation and conduct books from 1902 to 1964. Visitors to the MMA Archives are only able to view their own family’s listings.
  • Annual Reports of the Commissioners of the Massachusetts Nautical Training School.
  • Board of Trustee Meeting Minutes.
  • Cape Cod Canal Collection - Includes pieces created for but not on loan from, the Nina Heald Webber Cape Cod Canal Centennial Collection of 2014. Also includes various materials acquired by the Academy on the history of the Cape Cod Canal.
  • Training Ship Log Books.

The acquisition of disparate artifacts, records and documents dilutes the value of the collection and does little to preserve the history of the Academy for future generations. Focusing the Archives collections on the most relevant and appropriate materials will result in a rich and vibrant collection.

Each item that is presented to the MMA Archives must undergo an evaluation. Records and artifacts are evaluated according to their “enduring value” to the Academy. The following criteria are used to determine if an artifact contains enduring value. The item in question must satisfy one or more of the following:

  • Documents the history of the Academy from its inception in 1891 to the present day.
  • Written works by MMA alumni.
  • Documents actions of the Academy’s Board of Trustees as it pertains to MMA business.
  • Documents the voyages of any of the Academy’s cadet training ships.
  • Documents the physical campus and environment in Boston, Hyannis and Buzzards Bay.
  • Documents a graduation ceremony or any other Academy ceremony.
  • Documents the office of the Academy’s President.
  • Reports of:
    • self-studies and accreditation visits;
    • annual budgets and audits;
    • academic and administrative offices and units.

Personal research and papers of faculty, students, and alumni which are not related to the official operation of the Academy are considered to be the private property of the individuals who produced them, and as such, they are not deposited into the Academy Archives, but instead may be donated to whichever archival repository the creator chooses.

In making the final decision to acquire archival artifacts, the MMA Archives shall also consider the ability of MMA to provide suitable space, staffing, supplies and equipment.

Procedures for Acquiring Historical Records

Any gifts to the Academy require a completed Accession Record form. It is at the Academy Archives’ discretion to review materials and place them into appropriate collections. Materials which do not fulfill the collections may be donated to other organizations or recycled.

Any MMA administrator, staff, or faculty member who initiates a gift on behalf of the Academy with the expectation that it be added to the Academy Archives should contact the Academy Archivist in advance. Two forms are to be completed for accepting gifts: the Archival Gift form (to be completed by the donor) and the Archives Accession Record Form (to be completed by the Academy Archivist).

The donor will sign the Archival Gift Form. This ensures the understanding that the Archives has the authority to decide on the placement of gifted materials. Any materials that do not fit into the current collections or do not directly related to Academy history can be returned, donated to another organization, or recycled. The Academy Archivist will complete the Archives Accession Record Form at the time the Archival Gift Form is completed by the donor.

D. Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the Director of Library Services to maintain this policy.