Collection Development Policy

This general overview of the collection development policies of the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law Archives is intended to provide guidance for potential donors. 

Mission Statement

Collecting Scope

Description of Collecting Areas

Donating Materials to the Archives

How We Care for Your Collections

Mission Statement

The Archives, a division of the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law Library, holds the records of the law school and its predecessor institutions, the Chicago College of Law, Lake Forest College Department of Law, and Kent College of Law. The Archives supports the missions of the law school to create and disseminate knowledge, advance student learning, and to support research and teaching by striving to preserve and provide access to Chicago-Kent's historical records; to gather an accurate, authentic, and complete record of the life of the law school.

Collecting Scope

The Archives works with the law school's records creators and holders to identify and acquire key records of enduring historical and administrative, legal, or cultural significance. We collect significant records of organizations affiliated with Chicago-Kent and of associated entities within the legal community.

Description of Collecting Areas

Chicago-Kent College of Law Records:

The Archives collects records and publications created in the course of school business from circa 1870 to the present. These include administrative, operational, programmatic, personnel, legal, financial, and academic records with permanent historical value in documenting programs, decisions, and individuals at the law school. The three main collecting groups of records are:

  • Offices and academic departments
  • Institutes and Research Centers
  • Campus-wide initiatives


The Archives collects publications which are considered law school records regardless of acquisition process or source (subscription, transfer, gift, purchase, donation). Law school publications constitute published and/or promotional materials created for immediate public access and those created for school or departmental needs not intended for immediate public access. Collected publications and promotional materials may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Serials, newspapers, and newsletters
  • Books published by the law school and its departments
  • Scholarly journals
  • Law school-sponsored Web sites, blogs, and e-newsletters
  • Promotional material such as posters, post cards, announcements, tickets, programs, flyers, and objects (e.g., t-shirts, buttons, pins, medals)
  • CDs, DVDs, and other audiovisual media

Personal and Faculty Archives

The Archives collects the personal and professional papers and manuscripts created by individuals who have had a significant relationship to the law school. Chicago-Kent related manuscript collections of major research significance are also considered for acquisition. The four main collecting groups of personal and faculty archives are:

  • Faculty archives
  • Senior Administrator professional and personal material
  • Student and Alumni personal materials
  • Family archives

Associated Organization Records

The Archives collects records created by organizations whose members presently work or study at the law school, or have worked or studied at the law school previously. The two main collecting areas of Associated Organizations are:

  • Student Clubs and Organizations
  • Alumni Clubs and Organizations

Historical Materials

The Archives collects material not created in the course of school business but which documents the intellectual, cultural, administrative, and social life of Chicago-Kent and its surrounding communities. The two main collecting areas of historical materials are:

  • Books and publications about the law school or its preceding schools
  • Records and other materials created or collected by non-Chicago-Kent individuals or organizations which enhance our knowledge of the law school and its history

Donating Materials to the Archives

Please do not send unsolicited materials to the Archives. If you have materials you may be interested in donating, please contact us.

How We Care for Your Collections

The collections of the Archives are kept in secure, closed areas and do not circulate outside of the Archives except for transportation to storage, preservation and reproduction treatments or in exceptional circumstances.

All material collections donated to the Archives are placed in archival, acid-free containers and appropriate folders to ensure long-term preservation of the materials. Some archival collections may contain materials that have physically deteriorated or are fragile. If necessary, staff will consult with professional conservators to decide upon appropriate treatment. Electronic and born-digital materials have their own preservation needs that are addressed on a case-by-case basis, with some data migrated into a preservation format.

Collections donated to the Archives are inventoried, cataloged and curated by a professional archivist. Basic information about the Archives' collections is available in the Chicago-Kent College of Law Library online catalog, and in most cases is searchable via Internet browsers and through Archon.

The Archives uses items from its collections in exhibits displayed on the law school campus. Digitized materials are available through a variety of online resources.