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General Collection Policy


Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections (MASC) acquires, processes, catalogs, preserves, and digitizes primary resources and published (printed) materials, many of which are unique, chiefly to support the teaching, research, and scholarly mission of Washington State University. Digitized original source materials and the array of bibliographic utilities, collection data, and other descriptive information currently available on the MASC website provide additional resources for the pursuit of independent scholarly research around the world. The availability of these original and secondary digitized resources is dynamic and expanding over time. In addition, MASC maintains the “collective memory” of Washington State University as the repository of the institution’s inactive records of permanent, legal, historical or administrative value. The acquisition of university archives is partly mandated by the Washington State Code. These important archival records serve a broad constituency.


Primary Sources

Pacific Northwest, eastern Washington, and surrounding regions: culture and history.

Printed Collections

Modernist British literature, the Bloomsbury Group, Virginia Woolf, Washington imprints (territorial and state), Hogarth Press, Western Americana, veterinary medicine, angling, and wildlife and outdoor recreation.

General Guidelines

  1. Languages: Most collections are in English; a few notable collections contain little or no English-language material or a mixture of languages.
  2. Chronology: All periods are represented.
  3. Geographical: Emphasis is on North America, but other geographical regions are documented and/or represented.
  4. Treatment: Juvenile materials and most textbooks and generic secondary materials are excluded; also excluded are extensive runs of literary journals.
  5. Types of Material: All forms, genres, and formats (print, manuscripts, aural and graphic) relative to subject areas defined in collection scope.

Observations and Qualifications

MASC’s resources are acquired by gift and purchase. For this and other reasons it is difficult to assign precise collecting levels to the many special collections and subject categories held in MASC’s collections.

The potential research strength of MASC’s collections of unique primary source materials and some of its printed collections depends in part on the presence of collateral resources (secondary works, reference works, etc.) in the Libraries’ general collections.

MASC builds to strengthen its major areas of collecting in scope, chiefly by augmenting existing collections through ongoing purchases or gifts. MASC may decline gifts based on staffing, space, and other concerns.

revised February 2019

Open to Collaborate Our institution is committed to the development of new modes of collaboration, engagement, and partnership with Indigenous peoples for the care and stewardship of past and future heritage collections.

WSU Libraries, PO Box 645610, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-5610, 509-335-9671
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