Archives Policy

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Transfer Guidelines for Records of Educational and Professional Associations
Revised policy approved by the Executive Board, July 2005 Tab 11

See also: Archives Contact

Since 1906, the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) has advanced the understanding of law librarianship and represented the interest of members of the profession. Through its meetings, publications, communities, and professional contacts, AALL has developed and increased the usefulness of law libraries and provided continuing education for librarians. In 1980, the AALL deposited its archival materials at the University of Illinois, so that a core of records having high research value would be preserved according to professional archival standards. Members of the AALL, scholars, students, and other researchers can use the AALL's archives to expand their knowledge of law librarianship and AALL's role in its development.

Recognizing the volume of materials currently "born electronic" and available in no other format, it is important to ensure these items are transferred to an electronic archive when appropriate, using AALLNET as a gateway by providing a link on the home page. Additionally, whenever possible print items should be digitized and placed in the electronic archive.

It is not possible or sensible to include every item produced by AALL. The Association maintains an archives, not a museum. Final versions of materials in print, electronic, and future formats are included, as well as objects. The Archivist has final judgment on specific submissions and their uses based on this revised policy and guidelines. Business records of the Association are not included in the policy and guidelines.

Items to be transferred include:

  1. Official records: constitutions and by-laws, minutes and proceedings, transcripts, lists or officers and members.
  2. Office files: correspondence and memoranda (incoming and outgoing) and subject files concerning projects, activities and functions.
  3. Historical files documenting policies, decisions, committee and task force reports, questionnaires, including Board Books and other materials produced in conjunction with Executive Board meetings.
  4. Publications: one final record copy of all programs, journals, monographs, newsletters, brochures, posters and announcements issued by the association or its subdivisions. "Publications" as used here also refers to electronic discussion lists, blogs and other information in electronic or other formats whose final version may be included, or for which a periodic snapshot may be made for archival purposes.
  5. Washington Affairs Office letters, testimony and briefs.
  6. Audio-visuals: photographs and sound recordings.
  7. Personal papers of members which relate directly to association work.
  8. Charts and maps.
  9. "Snapshots" of AALLNET on a consistent schedule.

Records which should not be transferred to the Archives include:

  1. Records of specific financial and membership transactions.
  2. Letters of transmittal where the date and routing information is on the document transmitted.
  3. Requests for publications or information after the requests have been filled.
  4. All blank forms and unused printed or duplicated materials.
  5. All duplicate material: keep only the original copy and annotated copies.
  6. Papers, reports, workpapers and drafts; which have been published;
  7. Replies to questionnaires if the results are recorded and preserved either in the archives or in a published report.

This list is intended as a general guide

Material should be transferred in the order in which the records creator maintained it. A letter briefly identifying the material and describing the activity to which it relates, and a detailed inventory of the materials should accompany the shipment.

Send all Archive materials to:

American Association of Law Libraries Archives
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
146 Main Library, MC-522
1408 W. Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 333-0798

The following policies governing the use of the AALL's archives are intended to be as liberal as possible with due consideration given to the needs of scholars, restrictions imposed by authors, donors, or the AALL, laws concerning literary property rights, the nature of the materials, and the physical preservation of the documents. The Archivist has final judgment on the use of the archive based on this policy and the "Guidelines for the Transfer of Documents to the AALL Archive".


  1. Any person may make written application to the AALL Headquarters or the University of Illinois Archivist for permission to examine, or have examined, the archives. Permission, subject to restrictions on access imposed by the writer, the donor, or the AALL, will be granted at the discretion of the AALL Archives Liaison, normally an AALL member on the staff of the University of Illinois Law Library and so designated by the AALL. In the absence of the Liaison, permission may be granted by the University Archivist. An appeal of denial of access may be made in writing to the Executive Board. The completed User Application forms shall be retained by the University Archives.
  2. Staff of the AALL Headquarters office and individual members of the AALL Executive Board during their tenure shall be exempt from the permission requirement for consultation and photocopying of material except that to which specific restrictions have been attached.
  3. Permission, as outlined in paragraph 1 above, is not required for examination of publications (any document reproduced in multiple copies for general distribution) in the AALL Archives.
  4. Archival materials in print or other physical formats are to be used only at the Law Library or University Archives. No archival materials may be taken from these two areas without specific written permission of the Archives Liaison or the AALL Secretary. Archives users are required to conform to the regulations governing handling and note-taking which are specified by the Liaison and the University Archivist. Materials in the electronic archive should be accessed electronically and may be accessed remotely following permission to examine.


  1. Archives may not be copied by any process unless the applicant gives written assurance, by signature on the User Application that no document or substantial portion of a document will be published or reproduced without the subsequent express written permission of the writers or their legal representatives and the AALL.
  2. Permission to copy will normally be granted upon receipt of such assurance, provided that copying complies with the "fair use" provisions of the Copyright Act.
  3. For researchers who cannot come to the University Archives or Law Library, copies of documents may be secured through the Liaison or the University Archives. Reasonable expenses and service charges may be assessed the applicant. The Liaison or the University Archivist reserves the right to refuse a request if it is adjudged that photocopying or scanning might damage the material, or if the request is so broad as to require unreasonable amounts of staff time. Documents currently in print format should be digitized and added to the electronic archive when a request is made to access them.


  1. Permission to examine or copy archival material does not convey the right to publish, display, perform, or broadcast (hereafter any or all of these activities are referred to as publish) the material except for publication under the "fair use" provisions of the Copyright Act. Permission to publish may be secured by joint authorization of the AALL President and the holder of the literary rights, his/her legal representative or assigns.
  2. Permission to publish will ordinarily be granted provided that: if a research project is contemplated, it meets commonly accepted standards of scholarship, and written permission for the specific use is secured from the copyright holder.
  3. Where permission to publish is granted, the applicant agrees a) to indicate in the published or that the original is located in the Archives of the AALL and b)to assume full and complete responsibility for any infringement of copyright or literary rights that may grow out of use or publication of the material.

Guidelines for the Documents to the AALL Archives:

  1. These guidelines apply to print, born digital, and digitized documents and are made pursuant to the Archives Policy.
  2. The recommended format for digital documents is PDF. Only final copies will be sent.
  3. The Association should continue to monitor technology changes to ensure that the most up-to-date, accessible and practical methods are used.
  4. Staff, board members, committee, task force and SIS chairs are responsible for ensuring documents related to their work are sent to the Archive. They should use the established schedule to determine what is sent.
  5. The Association will hold an annual "archives day" at which time the above people will be reminded to send documents to the archive.
  6. The Association should always follow best practices as recommended by the Society of American Archivists and should monitor the guidelines developed by LIPA as they affect AALL Archives. This includes following recommendations for back-up or mirror sites.
  7. A snapshot of AALLNET will be sent to the electronic archive on a schedule to be determined in consultation with the AALLNET Editor.
  8. Determination of those sections of AALLNET to be archived in their entirety before being removed from AALLNET should be done in consultation with the AALLNET Coordinator.
  9. Only approved submission and request forms will be used and will work in accordance with agreements made with the University of Illinois.