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Archives and Special Collections

The Archives and Special Collections Department of Biddle Law Library preserves and provides access to the American Law Institute (ALI) archives, the National Bankruptcy Archives (NBA), and Penn Carey Law historic records.

Welcome to the Faculty Papers resource guide

The Biddle Archives and Special Collections Department serves as an official repository for the permanent records of University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. Faculty papers can be fundamental to documenting the historical development of the Law School. Faculty papers offer insight into the history and operation of the University that otherwise may be lost by relying only on official administrative records. They reveal professional interests and opinions that frequently clarify matters mentioned in the official records of the central administration. Faculty papers document the academic life of the University and relate one's academic career to his or her total interests, thereby constituting an important record.

In addition, faculty papers, regardless of format, document the individual’s career at Penn Carey Law and their research discoveries or projects.  

Collecting Faculty Papers

The Biddle Archives and Special Collections Department collects selectively in the area of faculty papers while also striving to document the diversity of faculty members' backgrounds, perspectives, and research interests. We are particularly interested in the materials which document an individual’s career at Penn Carey Law, including teaching, research, and service internal to the institution and as an agent for the institution. 

More information on the types of records the Department collects, material that is limited in scope, and material that is out of scope for the archives: 

Main interest 

  • Course material: syllabi, course outlines, lecture notes, handouts, exams and assignments, reading lists, course proposals, and other classroom materials. 

  • Research files and research data: grant applications, proposals and final reports, unpublished drafts. *Only if they have significant and substantial annotations. 

  • Scholarship: Talks, lectures, and conference presentations. 

  • Administrative materials: documents related to the faculty member's services at the Law School such as information on new programs and initiatives, memos and notices about departmental policy, agendas, meeting minutes, reports, resolutions from faculty committees and departmental meetings. 

  • Correspondence to and from colleagues, researchers, and students past and present. *Excluding private correspondence or correspondence related to student grades or internal promotions. 

  • Autobiographical materials: CVs, bibliographies, oral histories, interviews, photographs (negatives and slides), photograph albums, and journals. 

  • Non-Penn Carey Law or Penn Carey Law adjacent academic and professional organization material.  

  • For example: American Law Institute initiatives, domestic and abroad law reform projects, fictional writing, or advisory papers.  

Limited Interest 

  • Books, journals, off-prints, preprints, articles, and book reviews published by the faculty member or in honor of the faculty member. *Published material of this nature is collected by the Biddle Law Library in conjunction with the Biddle Law Library Institutional Repository. 

  • Honors, prizes, awards (including three-dimensional awards), diplomas, certificates, honorary degrees. 

  • Personal material, diaries, or memorabilia. *Exceptions may apply. 

  • Newspaper clippings, press releases, transparencies, models, or calendars 

  • Policy and procedure manuals, handbooks. 

Out of scope 

  • Personal libraries or unannotated photocopies of book chapters and articles. 

  • Professional correspondence related to specific individuals.  

  • For example: letters of recommendations, tenure review assessments, performance evaluations. 

  • Grades and evaluations of students or graded assignments course evaluations. 

  • Search, recruitment, promotion, and other personnel-related records. 

  • Professional organization membership administrative records. For example: renewals, agendas, attendance and travel material or meeting arrangements. 

  • Personal medical or records related to personal legal matters. 

  • Financial records: invoices, receipts, tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, cancelled checks, royalty statements 

  • Blank forms, stationary, letterhead. 

  • Equipment and equipment maintenance records. *We are interested in the faculty member’s electronic files, but not necessarily the technology used to create the works. 

A faculty member is defined as anyone who is appointed to a permanent, adjunct, clinical, or temporary faculty position at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School.  

The Archives and Special Collections Department strives to collect papers of distinguished faculty who have demonstrated significant contributions to their respective fields. However, collecting is also based on correlation to other departmental collecting priorities.  

This includes collecting professional papers of faculty who have demonstrated: 

  • Significant contributions to their respective field. 

  • Exemplary administrative and/or teaching contributions to the University. 

  • Correlation to the collection development mission of the Archives and Special Collections Department. 

When evaluating records/material for the archives, the following criteria will be followed:  

  • Impact of the records in understanding the faculty member’s work, their fields, and their role within the Penn Carey Law School community. 

  • Interest of the material to future students, scholars, and researchers. 

  • Relation of the records to other documents in the archives collections. 

  • Relation to other documents created by the faculty member’s colleagues and professional communities. 

In addition, the Archives and Special Collections Department reserves the right to remain selective in the material it accepts into the archives. In the event the Department is unable to accept a faculty donation, staff will work with the faculty member to help facilitation the donation of their papers to a more appropriate archival repository. 

Archives and Special Collections Department staff will advise faculty members to organize and arrange their records in a way that best suits their work and needs. As much as possible, materials, folders, and boxes should be clearly labeled with dates, events, and names with an accompanying inventory. The archives department staff can consult with faculty members to assist with the initial arrangement and transfer process. Faculty members can send their records to the archives at any point during their employment with Penn Carey Law.  

Records can be donated in digital or paper-based formats. Faculty members are encouraged not to digitize or scan their records, rather, we recommend faculty to spend their time organizing and labeling their work. More information on how faculty can transfer digital records can be found in the Archives and Special Collections Department Digital Records Transfer Guidelines.  

Faculty members will be asked to sign an agreement, a Deed of Gift, finalizing the donation of the records to the Archives and Special Collections Department. This document will legally transfer the ownership and rights of the records to the department.

Contact points 

  • New faculty hires will be introduced to the archives via our outreach brochure with links to online resources. 

  • This includes temporary, adjunct, clinical, emeritus, or other faculty members with limited appointments. 

  • The Archives department will work with faculty support staff to send out an annual email to remind faculty about record donations/transfers. 

  • When possible, faculty will be contacted by the archives in conjunction with faculty support staff, six months prior to their retirement, or departure from Penn Carey Law, regarding donating their papers to the archives. 

  • Faculty members departing from Penn Carey Law for other institutions are encouraged to donate their records that were generated while at Penn Carey Law.  

Collections at the Archives and Special Collections Department are made discoverable online via publicly accessible finding aids and made accessible to all researchers onsite in the Biddle Law Library Reading Room. Faculty should express any specific privacy concerns or access restrictions to their records when working with archives staff to complete the Deed of Gift paperwork.  

In general, Faculty papers will be considered closed to public research until the archives staff has had a chance to review the material. Some exceptions may apply to this policy.