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Chapter 190: Western Historical Manuscripts Collection

190.010 Guidelines for Operation

Executive Guideline No. 14, 2-21-78.

  1. Preamble—The Western Historical Manuscripts Collection of the University of Missouri was created in 1943 to collect, preserve and make readily available to prospective users records that illuminate the history of Missouri and the broader region to which it belongs. In active cooperation with the State Historical Society of Missouri, a constantly growing collection of documents relating to all aspects of life in Missouri and the Midwest has been created. In addition to the more traditional political, military and diplomatic records, users will find information on religion, education, the professions, ethnic and social groupings and movements, all aspects of the economy, and data on the lives of both famous and obscure individuals that in totality illustrate the culture of the region.
        With the expansion of the University into a four-campus system, and in keeping with the scholarly ideal of sharing all existing records with those who may be interested, the Columbia, Kansas City, Rolla and St. Louis campuses have joined in the cooperative effort with the State Historical Society to make the Western Historical Manuscripts Collection a truly statewide resource of readily available information for faculties, students, visiting scholars and citizens. In doing so, the Collections serve a major function of universities: the preservation and dissemination of knowledge of our past. All citizens interested in this goal are invited to join in furthering its advancement.
  2. State Historical Society and Western Historical Manuscripts —The State Historical Society of Missouri Manuscripts and the Western Historical Manuscripts Collection of the University of Missouri operate as an entity administered by the Director of Collections. To enhance the effectiveness of the Collections on the campuses of the University in their central functions of acquiring and making available to scholars the raw materials of history, a consolidated budget and central coordination have been established.
  3. Governance and Operation—For the governance and operation of the Collections, the following committees are established:
    1. The Manuscripts Collections Operations Committee—The Operations Committee shall consist of the Director of Collections who will serve as chairperson, a representative appointed by the Executive Committee of the State Historical Society if the Director/Secretary is not the Director of Collections, the Associate Directors of the Western Historical Manuscripts Collection from each campus, and a University Vice President. The Operations Committee shall meet at least twice each semester and at the request of any member of the committee. The Operations Committee shall determine and establish the operational procedures to be followed.
  4. For the administration of the Manuscripts Collections, the following positions have been established:
    1. The Director of Collections—The Director of Collections shall be appointed by the President of the University in consultation with the Executive Committee of the State Historical Society and shall report to the President. (If possible, this person should be the Director/Secretary of the State Historical Society, since the Society has a statutory statewide mission for the acquisition of historical materials and maintains separate legal ownership of manuscripts.) The primary duties and responsibilities of the Director of Collections shall be to:
      1. Direct and administer the Western Historical Manuscripts State Historical Society Manuscripts Collections. The Director in consultation with the Associate Directors shall make provision for and supervise manuscript storage, central cataloging of large collections, microfilm scheduling, and the staffing of the campus manuscripts collections.
      2. Coordinate the acquisition plans of the Associate Directors and keep them informed to avoid duplication of effort.
      3. Receive budget requests from the Associate Directors and from such prepare the Western Historical Manuscripts Collection budget for presentation to the President of the University. In so doing, the Director will forward to the President without change a copy of the request of each campus.
      4. Provide the Associate Director of Collections on each campus with annual budget allocations as soon as they are available.
      5. Provide the President of the University, the Manuscripts Collections Policy Committee, and the Executive Committee of the State Historical Society with summaries of the activities of the Collections and with such other reports as may be requested.
      6. Encourage an aggressive acquisitions program on each campus and provide all possible funds and personnel to support such a program.
    2. The Associate Directors of the Collections—An Associate Director of the Western Historical Manuscripts Collection shall be appointed by the President of the University in consultation with the Chancellor of that campus. The primary duties and responsibilities of the Associate Directors shall be to:
      1. Direct an aggressive acquisitions program in keeping with the wishes and developing interests of their respective campuses. The Director of Collections shall be kept informed of major acquisitions sought and all acquisitions obtained.
      2. Supervise the uniform and professional cataloging of similar collections, and assist the Director of Collections in arranging for central cataloging and microfilming of larger collections. The original manuscripts of those collections that have been centrally processed shall be returned to the originating campus if it so desire and space permits.
      3. Direct their staffs, following uniform and professional cataloging procedures, and supervise patron service.
      4. Prepare annual budget requests and furnish budget projections when requested.
      5. Observe standard procedures of the University of Missouri and of the Western Historical Manuscripts Collection in matters relating to contracts, grants, reporting, and business and personnel operations.

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