Policies of the Feminist Theory Archives
The Feminist Theory Archives were established in 2001 to collect, arrange, describe, preserve, and make accessible the work of leading feminist theorists beginning in the 1960s. With these papers, the Pembroke Center seeks to preserve the past in order to enhance the future of feminist theory. The Pembroke Center also endeavors to promote knowledge and understanding of feminist theory by reaching out to the students and faculty of Brown, the larger scholarly community, and the public-at-large through programming, publicity, and easy access to the collections. Finally, the Pembroke Center endeavors to make as much material as possible available online so that access to the collection is not limited by geographic location. In this effort, the Feminist Theory Archives website will also link to complementary collections housed at other institutions.
Scope of Collection:
The Feminist Theory Archives will become the basis for an ongoing collection focused on the work of senior scholars at academic institutions on the cutting edge of feminist theory since the 1960s. Collections selected for the archives are deemed to have ongoing historical value. Materials accessioned will document feminist theory in its development, evolution, and variations. These materials may include primarily unpublished printed documents, photographic images, graphic materials, audio and video items, digital objects, and relevant materials in other physical forms. The Feminist Theory Archives are available for public use in the John Hay Library of Brown University during regular business hours, unless otherwise specified in the donor agreement.
Conditions of Acceptance
Unless otherwise specified by donors, all literary rights are conveyed to the Feminist Theory Archives of Brown University at the time of acquisition. All donor access and use restrictions or conditions will be specified in the donor agreement and expressed in the collection’s finding aid. The professional staff at the John Hay Library will oversee the use of all archived collections; however, the Pembroke Center can assume no responsibility for abuse of literary or copyright restrictions by users of research materials.
Because the Feminist Theory Archives are primarily an informational resource, restrictions on access to donated materials is discouraged; however, in order to protect individual privacy and respect laws about student and personnel materials, clearly stated restrictions of limited duration can be imposed with guidance from the Archivist.
Archival material may be collected by gift, bequest, or some combination of the two. Gifts to the Feminist Theory Archives are considered outright donations and become the sole and irrevocable property of the Pembroke Center. Loans of material will not be considered. Records will not be accepted if the donor’s ownership of such records is uncertain.
Tax and Appraisal
Donations of historical materials to the Feminist Theory Archives may be tax deductible; however, the Pembroke Center cannot appraise donations for tax purposes.
Collection appraisal is a continuous process, thus acceptance of materials does not commit the Feminist Theory Archives to retain any material in perpetuity. The Pembroke Center reserves the right to reevaluate and reappraise historical material in its holdings and deaccession them where appropriate. Deaccessioned items from collections during processing or weeding will be offered to the donor or her designated agent if so requested at the time of donation. If the donor wishes not to reclaim the material or cannot be located, the Feminist Theory Archives reserves the right to offer the material to other depositories or discard the items.
What to send
We, at the Feminist Theory Archives, are primarily seeking unpublished, unique materials, such as:
- Documents and materials relating to historically important conferences, debates, and publications in feminist theory and in scholar’s academic discipline
- Book and grant proposals, records and documents pertaining to participation in professional organizations
- Personal and professional correspondence, journals, diaries, and photographs
- Research notes, drafts of books and articles, and syllabi from courses taught (especially from early feminist and/or women's studies courses)
- E-mail and other digital files saved on CDs/DVDs clearly marked as to the types of materials saved on the CD/DVD and the format of the files. Recommended file formats for digital files:
- E-mail: ASCII or PDF
- Word processing files: ASCII or PDF
- Photographs: JPEG or TIFF (preferably TIFF)
- Sound recordings: MP3 or WAV (preferably WAV)
The Feminist Theory Archives will not accept the following types of materials:
- Books or periodicals unless their contents are in some way unique or have a particular link to the collection’s creator. We do encourage donors to systematically photograph their library, providing users of the collection with a view of the books collected by donor.
- Duplicate published or distributed materials
- Papers and materials of former and current students, unless their contents are directly relevant to the larger collection. (Restrictions will most likely be placed on these materials.)
- Personnel records involving a third party (eg. letters of recommendations and staff evaluations), unless their contents are directly relevant to the larger collection. (Restrictions will most likely be placed on these materials.)
Possible exceptions should be discussed with the Archivist.
Care of Collections
Collections are kept in environmentally controlled, secure areas and do not circulate outside of the John Hay Library. Materials are requested for use from the Library Annex and provided for research use in a supervised reading room.
To provide research access, collections are arranged and described by a professional archivist. An online descriptive guide and inventory will be prepared for each collection, easily locatable by researchers through most search engines. Researchers can then use finding aids to select materials for study. To provide information about the collection, the archivist enters a description of each collection into Josiah, the library’s online catalog – which is also accessible through OCLC, a national union online catalog. To see a typical finding aid, visit: http://pike.services.brown.edu/bamco/bamco.php?eadid=ms2006.02.
Providing physical and intellectual control of collections is expensive. We encourage donors to provide financial support for the arrangement, description, and preservation of their papers or records when they are able to do so. Arrangements for monetary donations should be discussed with the archivist. Such support can also be included in a bequest.
How to send materials:
For assistance with transferring materials to the archives, please contact the Pembroke Center Archivist at Pembroke_Archives@Brown.edu; or, 401-863-6268.