University Archive Collections Policies

The William Paterson University Archives serves as the final repository for selected historical and non-current records and artifacts of The William Paterson University of New Jersey. Its primary purpose is to document the history of the University and to promote knowledge and understanding of that history by providing source material for administrators, faculty, students, alumni and others, such as scholars and authors, interested in the University’s history and programs. The goals of the WPUNJ Archives are as follows:

  • Assess, collect, organize, describe, preserve and make available records of historical and cultural value to William Paterson University.
  • Provide adequate facilities for the retention and preservation of such records.
  • Provide materials that will serve as information resources to assist the operation of the University.
  • Promote the use of primary materials to stimulate and nourish creative teaching and learning.
  • Serve research and scholarship by making available and encouraging the use of its collections by members of the University and community at large.
  • Ensure that records from appropriate departments, programs and offices will be deposed and processed in a timely and efficient manner.

All materials accessioned into the Cheng Library Archive and Special Collections will be retained in perpetuity, except where digitization permits disposal of a physical copy, or where materials do not meet the current mission and collection policies of the Archive.

Using the Archives

General Information:

Materials in the Archive & Special Collections are available to patrons by appointment during the regular hours that the Library is open. Please contact the Reference Desk at (973) 720-2116 or to make arrangements in at least 48 hours advance.

Patrons must register with the Library staff at the Reference Desk and leave their belongings in the lockers in the Lending Service area. Only necessary paper and reference materials are permitted in the Archive room.

Materials do not circulate and should not be removed from the Archive Room without permission. Library Staff will assist patrons in finding a suitable work space within the Library to view materials.

Use of Materials:

Patrons must use pencils; pens are prohibited. Pencils are available at the Service Desks. Do not mark, erase, lean on, or trace any materials.

Use of materials is restricted to five files, folders, or books at one time.

Some materials are available on microfiche. Library staff will assist patrons in using this format in the Periodicals Department.

Reproduction of Materials:

Photocopying of all materials must be done by Library staff. Please request this Service at the Reference Desk.

Some materials may not be photocopied at all, these include: rare books, fragile and oversized materials. Consult the Reference staff for alternatives.

Donating to the Archives

Because your donations are important to us we suggest that you consider the following:

  1. If you would like to discuss your donations in advance, or have questions, please contact the Reference Desk at (973) 720-2116 or
  2. To ensure safe handling and processing in transit, please use a padded mailing bag available at the Post Office.
  3. Describe the papers or artifacts you are donating indicating their association and or significance to the University, and the date.
  4. If you reside near the University, you can drop off the materials at the Cheng Library
  5. If you cannot get to a Post Office, are sending fragile materials, or objects that cannot otherwise be shipped in the mail, we will consider a pick up at your home. Please contact us at the above number to make arrangements.

If you do not wish to donate personal papers or photographs, we ask that the University be allowed to copy them for the Archives. Please be assured that all materials on loan will be returned in a timely fashion.

Collection Priorities

Images and Sounds:

  • Photographs of significant University personnel, events, buildings, grounds and campus life;
  • Relevant images of surrounding communities such as Paterson, Wayne, Haledon and North Haledon.
  • Videos and audio recordings of important University events, lectures, cultural performances (including dramatic and musical performances), etc.

Yearbooks and Graduation Rosters:

  • Especially those earlier than 1940


Any of the following objects with the University logo:

  • Clothing,
  • Banners,
  • Pennants,
  • Mugs,
  • Jewelry,
  • Etc.


Any of the following items associated with University programs or events:

  • Drawings,
  • Paintings,
  • Posters,
  • Designs,
  • Illustrations,
  • Etc.

Student life and Athletics:

Significant memorabilia and documents reflecting history of University clubs, Greek organizations, team sports, etc.


  • Print materials produced by the University, one of its departments,
  • Materials produced by other non-University, but closely related organizations such as the American Federation of Teachers,
  • Newspaper and magazine articles about the University,
  • Official documents relating to the history and development of the University

Oral Interviews:

Taped or transcribed interviews with University personnel about University programs or events

Architectural Drawings:

Architectural plans and drawings of the campus and its buildings

Miscellaneous Campus Flyers and other "Grey" Literature:

Print publications, such as flyers, newsletters and other ephemera, and materials produced and/or distributed on campus through unconventional or unofficial channels that provide a sense of the University’s culture at a point in time.

Relevant Material about William Paterson, Garret Hobart, etc:

Materials related to the lives of William Paterson, V.P. Garrett Hobart or other individuals whose lives and careers contributed to the history of the University.

Note: The term "University" used below also refers to William Paterson College and all of the institution's historical antecedents, such as Paterson City Normal School, NJ State Normal School at Paterson, Paterson State Teachers' College and Paterson State College.