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Archives Mission Statement

The Cooper Archives and Special Collections exists to identify, preserve and make available historically significant materials that reflect the institution's origins and development, and the achievements of its officers, staff, faculty, students and alumni. Its mission is twofold:

  • The College Archives: to collect, preserve, organize, describe and make accessible records of enduring value created or received by the administrative and academic offices of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art (The Cooper Union).

  • Special Collections: to collect and maintain non-university records and papers related to the history, surroundings, and academic mission of The Cooper Union, including material relating to its founders and supporters, particularly the Cooper and Hewitt families.


Recognizing the need for a formal statement of policy, The Cooper Union hereby adopts the following measures to ensure the preservation and availability of official college records and related materials:

1) Any records generated or received by the administrative and academic offices of The Cooper Union in the conduct of business -- regardless of the form in which they are created and maintained -- are the property of The Cooper Union.

2) The Cooper Archives of the Cooper Union Library is authorized to identify and collect inactive records from the academic and administrative offices of The Cooper Union. In cooperation with the head of each office, the Director of the Library and the Cooper Archives Librarian shall be responsible for identifying records which may have permanent value to the institution, and shall arrange for their systematic transfer to the Archives or to an appropriate storage facility.

3) The President of the College, after consultation with the head of the records' office of origin and the Director of the Library, has final authority for determining the ultimate disposition of records created or received by The Cooper Union.

4) The Cooper Archives Librarian shall consult with the head of the records' office of origin to determine whether any restrictions on use should be applied to particular collections of archival records. Unrestricted records will be made available equally to staff, students, faculty, alumni, and outside researchers.

5) Notwithstanding the above, admissions files and records - current and historical - which are subject to federal and state legal guidelines, shall be maintained by the Registrar's and Academic Records Offices.

6) Additional statements may be written to explain archival policies in more detail.

Endorsed by the Library Committee of The Cooper Union: April 22, 2003

Approved by the Academic Council of The Cooper Union: December 8, 2004

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The Cooper Union Library
7 E 7th St.
New York, NY