Transfers and Donations



Records Management provides information for transferring important, historical records to Special Collections and Archives, as well as general recordkeeping and retention guidelines for University Departments.



The mission of BYU-Idaho Special Collections and Archives is to acquire, preserve, and make available resources and materials unique to campus history and that support campus curriculum, with additional emphasis on local pioneer history. We follow the Learning Model by allowing most items to be handled and seen up close to allow patrons to have a more personal experience with history. This means Special Collections will make every effort to preserve donated materials, so generations to come may benefit from them.

We collect both published materials (rare books, pamphlets, maps, films, etc.) and unpublished materials (university records, manuscripts, journals, correspondence, photographs, etc.). We also collect materials that are paper-based or digital.


Contact us to discuss donations.

  • Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
               Monday - Friday
  • Location: 220 McKay Library
                   Brigham Young University-Idaho
                   311 S. Center St. Rexburg, ID 83460
  • Phone Number: (208) 496-9540





Brigham Young University-Idaho

Special Collections

Collection Development Policy

Office of Special Collections and Records Management

David O. McKay Library

Brigham Young University-Idaho


I. Purpose and Program Description

The Special Collections of the David O. McKay Library directly supports the goals and mission of Brigham Young University-Idaho to build testimonies of the restored gospel, provide quality education, prepare for lifelong learning, and maintain an uplifting environment through the use of unique and important historical and primary source information.

Special Collections acquires materials that support the curricular needs of a diverse faculty and student body by documenting campus history, local pioneer history in eastern Idaho and western Wyoming, and topics of particular curricular interest. Special Collections makes resources available to campus patrons and an expanding off-campus student body.

II. Position Responsible for Collecting Decisions

Special Collections librarians are responsible for filtering and selecting materials to be acquired by the Brigham Young University-Idaho Special Collections, with recommendations from McKay Library subject librarians and University faculty.

III. Scope and Focus of Collecting

1.  Special Collections seeks to obtain, preserve, and make available a collection of primary source materials sufficient for the needs of BYU-Idaho students, employees, and other interested researchers for use as instructional materials and research tools in the following major areas of emphasis:

a.  Brigham Young University-Idaho history
b.  Local pioneer history in eastern Idaho and western Wyoming
c.  History of recordkeeping
d.  Historic editions of scripture and religious texts

2.  Materials selected for inclusion in the collection allow patrons an enriched experience through physical contact.

3.  Materials are acquired with the intent of preserving them indefinitely.   

4.  Part of Special Collections responsibility will be to digitize materials that offer off-campus students a similarly enhanced experience.

IV. Priorities and Limitations

1.  Priorities:

a.  Specials Collections' primary role is to support BYU-Idaho faculty and students by collecting materials that support curriculum and can be made available for long-term course and research use.

b.  Additionally, we recognize the importance of maintaining a strong relationship with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the local community, and in providing resources for research in those areas.

2.  Limitations:

a.  Special Collections is the corporate archives of Brigham Young University-Idaho and its primary role is documenting the administrative history of the University. This limits time and resources available to document other aspects.

b.  Storage space limits the amount of materials to be acquired and adds to the selective nature of the collections.  

V. General Selection Guidelines

1.  Subject Depth:

Create and maintain a collection of materials, available both physically and digitally, that supports independent research, as well as a body of materials tailored to specific curricular needs as defined by University faculty with input from the subject librarians.

2.  Specific Delimitations:

Materials donated, purchased, or otherwise acquired by Special Collections must support BYU-Idaho curriculum and meet Collection Selection Guidelines.

a.  Type

Historical, archival, and manuscript materials of any type, including photographs, film, media, and folklore/ethnographic materials. 

b.  Format

Primary source materials including unique historical, archival, and manuscript materials are collected.

c.  Geographical Focus

o   Emphasis is given to eastern Idaho and western Wyoming, with specific focus on the Upper Snake River Valley.

o   Additional emphasis dictated by subject areas.

d.  Creation date

o   Collected extensively: Post-1883, especially in subject areas

o   Collected selectively: Pre-1883

e.  Reproduction/digitization

Materials that can be reproduced or readily digitized will be acquired at a greater rate than other items.

f.   Subject Emphasis

o   Local LDS History (Collected Extensively)

Collections will document the LDS pioneer history of eastern Idaho and western Wyoming, with specific emphasis on the Upper Snake River Valley. Materials to be collected include historically important manuscripts and archives collections.

o   Local History (Collected Moderately)

Collections will document the history of the Upper Snake River Valley. Materials to be collected include printed works and some historically important manuscript and archives collections.

o   History of Recordkeeping (Collected Selectively)

Collections document the history of print and recordkeeping for use as instructional tools in displays and orientations. Materials to be collected include printed works and other unique containers used as recordkeeping devices that can be used in presentations and, as feasible, hands-on instruction.

o   Historic editions of scripture and religious texts (Collected Selectively)

Collections include texts that correspond with the history of recorded language, with additional emphasis on scriptures and texts with ties to LDS pioneer history in eastern Idaho and western Wyoming. Materials to be collected include printed works.

o   Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (Collected Selectively)

Collections will document the human and environmental history of the region, specifically the intersection of mankind with the natural world. Materials to be collection include historically important manuscript and archives collections, as well as printed works and other relevant materials that support curriculum in Geology; Geography; History; Health, Recreation, and Human Performance; Biology; Applied Plant Science; Communications; and other disciplines that rely on the information.

o   Campus Authors (Collected Selectively)

Collection highlights literary contributions made by campus personnel and students.   

o   Additional Materials as Appropriate (Collected Selectively)

Acquisitions contribute to or complement existing collections, or support curricular needs as they arise. Materials to be collected primarily include printed or published works, manuscript materials, or other materials as appropriate.

VI. Deaccessioning Guidelines

1.  Materials are acquired with the consideration that they will be housed in Special Collections indefinitely.

2.  In compliance with Donor's directives, CCLA 'last copy' agreements, or collaborative collections (if any).

3.  A Special Collections Librarian may present a proposal to deaccession materials to the Library Director.

4.  Materials removed from the collection may be offered to institutions better suited to these types of items, moved to the McKay Library general collection, returned to donors, offered to local libraries, offered to other CES facilities, or through other appropriate arrangements.

VII. Storage and Access

1.  Special Collections house materials in their original format, including:

a.  Paper-based

b.  Microfilm

c.  Photographs

d.  Film and audiovisual

e.  Audio

f.   Electronic/digital

2.  Materials will be housed in a secure, temperature- and humidity-controlled environment. Every reasonable caution will be exercised to protect the value and maintain the original condition of the item.

3.  Access is provided as appropriate to reading room patrons. However, access to some items may be limited, restricted, or otherwise controlled. Special Collections do not circulate outside of the reading room unless appropriate arrangements are made under the direction of Special Collections Librarians.

4.  Digitization will occur as needed to provide greater access to a growing student body and limit handling of certain fragile items.

VIII. Restrictions

1.  Open access is the preferred state of records, but Special Collections staff will accept reasonable restrictions to materials.

2.  Records may be open to, or restricted from, use by the general public depending on the purposes and audience for which they were originally created, the presence or absence of confidential information, and the age of the records.

3.  Restrictions result from

a.  Privacy and confidentiality concerns (as prescribed by donors)

b.  Physical condition (fragile, rare, etc.) of material

c.   The value of material

4.  Access to restricted items is subject to approval by Special Collections librarians or other administratively authorized personnel.

IX. Cooperation with other Institutions

Brigham Young University-Idaho works cooperatively with other CCLA institutions and institutions in Idaho to ensure that the Special Collections contains materials that support the curricular necessities of faculty and students and the local history needs of the community. Where another CCLA institution has developed a strong subject collection and expertise, we will defer to the previously developed collection emphasis.     

The papers of all LDS Church General Authorities are to be preserved in the LDS Church Archives, except when the Church Archivist and the University Librarian agree that a person's papers would be more appropriately preserved by BYU-Idaho.


Contact us if you have additional questions.