Archives and Special Collections

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Collection Policy


The Nisqually Plains Collection in the Robert A.L. Mortvedt Library, of Pacific Lutheran University, is a depository of historical materials relating to Pacific Northwest History, particularly Western Washington. The collection includes items that support the academic, educational, and research programs at the university and research needs of scholars beyond the university constituency. The collection is augmented by books and materials in the Mortvedt Library and by collections in the Scandinavian Immigrant Experience Collection, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Region I Archives, and by the University Archives. The collection serves as a sponsor of public and private projects that seek to enhance awareness and appreciation of the history of local public schools, churches, and municipal ports.

The mission of the collection is to serve regional studies associated with university history courses, seminars, internships, other academic disciplines, as well as individual research interests.

The collection is an administrative department of Mortvedt Library in close cooperation with the History department. The responsibility for the management and development of the collection rests with the university archivist in consultation with a representative of the PLU History department.

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Types of Materials Collected

  1. Formats
    The Nisqually Plains Collection includes types of materials that are typically found in local and regional history collections. These include books, pamphlets, newspapers, periodicals, photographs and prints, slides, filmstrips, motion pictures, videotapes, phonodiscs, tape recordings, manuscripts, maps, drawings, correspondence, copies of treaties, clippings and other ephemera, and printed memorabilia. Both original material and facsimiles, including microprints and other reproductions, are collected.
  2. Subject Coverage
    The Collection is limited to materials relating to Northwest history. Works describing the early history of Northwest including county histories, personal and family histories, correspondence, biographies and institutional and organizational studies. Historical information is also collected on special community identities such as military bases, national parks, Indian reservations, and longtime highway junctions.
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Policies and Procedures

  1. Collection Management
    The collection, preservation, and use of materials in the Nisqually Plains Collection are subject to the general policies and procedures governing other collections in the Mortvedt Library.
  2. Acquisition of Material
    All materials given to the Nisqually Plains Collection become the exclusive property of Pacific Lutheran University. If it is deemed advisable, a gift to the Collection shall be conveyed by a deed or other legal instrument describing the material, stating any use restrictions, and listing any exceptions to the conveyance of full property and literary rights. The Library shall have the right to dispose of gift material in any way it wishes. This includes the right to give such material to other institutions.

    As an interested party and for the protection of its donors and itself, the archivist will not appraise gifts to the Collection. However, she/he may suggest to a donor that an appraisal is desirable and assist in obtaining one.

    The donor of materials agrees to allow the Mortvedt Library to make at least one reproduction of each item that is considered essential to the preservation of the original or if it contributes to the research and educational purposes of the Collection. Furthermore, the donor of materials agrees that the Mortvedt Library and members of its staff shall not be held liable for any copyright infringement by a user of the materials as long as the Library adheres to the provisions of the Copyright Law. (U.S. Code, Title 17.)

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