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Chico State Student Organizations Archive

Chico Archives Toolkit (CAT) a guide to helping students organize and archive their records.

University Archives: Student Leadership Archives Mission

Today Decides Tomorrow

The Meriam Library Special Collections and University Archives department recognizes student narratives are underrepresented in Meriam Library. We want to remedy this information and knowledge gap, today, so students’ perspectives will be present in the Archives, tomorrow. Student’s experiences at Chico State, both inside and outside the classroom, are an important part of the campus history.


The Chico Archives Toolkit (CAT) will address this issue, providing students the tools to document their experiences and the role that they play in the development of the Chico State campus. We are actively seeking to create a robust, contextually rich history of the Chico State Experience- a tapestry woven together of multiple perspectives and narratives.

Through CAT, we hope to increase student engagement with the records creation process. Thereby increasing student awareness of their role as records creators, cultural workers, and historical participants on the Chico State campus.

Project Goals

  1. Provide instruction to students in records management best practices.

  2. Increase student representation in University Archives, Special Collections at Meriam Library.

  3. Outreach and promotion of Meriam Library and University Archives as a resource within the campus community.

Chico Archives Toolkit-CAT

  • A FREE flash drive for storing electronic records

  • Acid free folders and a lignin-free box suitable for long term storage of print materials

  • Best practices and skills to preserve materials from University Archives staff and support from Student Life & Leadership.


What to keep, what not to keep and where?

Things to keep in mind

  • Develop an organizational structure that works for your group
  • Create a system to transfer to next person in charge of records or to University Archives
  • When in doubt, do not throw it out. Contact us for advice.

Materials to keep


  • Founding documents

  • Constitution and By-Laws

  • Agendas

  • Club meeting minutes

  • Membership Lists

  • Flyers or posters for events

  • Photographs

  • Scrapbooks

  • “Born Digital” or electronic records

  • Correspondence

  • Handbooks

  • Research Files

  • Audiovisual materials

  • “Swag” (shirts, hats, buttons, pins, stickers, pennants, etc… )

  •  Publications/Newsletters

  •  Any papers documenting group activities


Where to keep

  • together in a central place
  • store away from sun, dust, heat and dampness

What not to keep

  • private personal information
    • see more below, remember you are documenting the group, not individuals
  • artifacts like trophies and plaques
  • receipts, bank statements and canceled checks

PII (Personally Identifiable information) & FERPA (Family Education Rights & Privacy Act)

Be  mindful of "personally identifiable information" (PII) and campus policies regarding student privacy and compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Do not collect materials with confidential information such as:

personal financial records, any identification numbers (social security, passport, visa), race, gender, grades, GPA etc.

Transferring materials to University Archives

If your student organization decides to transfer records to the University Archives, an archivist will meet with you to make this exchange as smooth and easy as possible. A deed of gift is signed by both parties outlining any donor restrictions if any.

The team at University Archives will then review those materials, describe, and create access to them. Depending on the material type the collection may be re-housed in acid-free folders and stored in acid-neutral lignin-free boxes suitable for long-term storage of archival materials.  The collection will be made discoverable on the Meriam Library catalog and website, and can be accessed by students at any time during our open office hours.

Meriam Library | CSU, Chico