Title of Policy:  WHOI Archives Policy
  Responsible Office:  The Library
Start Date:  September 27, 1998

The Director, recognizing the need for a formal archival policy to ensure the preservation and availability of the official papers of the Institution for historical purposes, adopts the following policy and procedure for the collection and preservation of these vital papers, records and documents:

All records generated or received by the various administrative, scientific and academic offices of the Institution in the conduct of their business, are the property of the institution and are considered archival regardless of the form in which they are created and maintained. The records covered by this policy include all papers and correspondence -- including official printed materials, minutes, committee files, photographs, instruments, models, scientific artifacts, financial records, personnel records, and associated papers -- in sum, any records or papers generated or received by the various administrative, scientific and academic offices of the institution in the conduct of their business or scientific work. These materials constitute archival records upon deposit into the Archives.


  1. Archival material in WHOI offices may not be destroyed or placed in non-WHOI storage without the approval of a committee of three consisting of:
    1. The Director's designee, representing the Board of Trustees and Members of the Corporation and the Administration.
    2. The Institution Archivist, representing the Director of the MBLWHOI Library.
    3. The Interdepartmental Representative with a scientific appointment at the Institution, representing the scientific staff.
  2. Materials so selected for preservation (See the WHOI Guide to Records Deposit) shall be sent to the WHOI Archives.
  3. The officer in charge of each administrative or academic office, in consultation with the Institution Archivist, will be responsible for deciding how long inactive papers are to be retained in and under the direct control of the office concerned.

The Institution would also welcome the offer of privately owned material bearing on the history of the Institution and of marine science and technology, provided, however, that the Institution incurs no obligation to retain such material as an integrated collection or in any prescribed form.

The implementation of this policy is the responsibility of the Institution Archives of the MBLWHOI Library.

Approved: Robert Gagosian, Director

Date: September 27, 1998 Back to the Archives page