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Records Management

All employees of the College of William and Mary have legal and prudential obligations to retain and manage its records & Swem Library staff are available to assist you.

FAQ: Personal Papers

Personal Papers for the University Archives

In addition to official records created in the daytoday work of the College, the University Archives in the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) also collects information and materials by and about individuals who have been associated with William & Mary. Please review the University Archives Collection Policy for more information on what we collect.

A Note on Formats

All information formats (e.g., published, typescript, audiovisual, and electronic data, such as computer disks and files) are appropriate for consideration for transfer. For documents in formats requiring any form of machine intervention, such as videotapes, kinescopes, and all computer files, consideration should be given to transferring the equipment needed to access the documents or, preferably, converting the documents to a format accessible to the SCRC's users. Early consultation with SCRC staff is strongly encouraged for all such materials. Currently, William & Mary does not have comprehensive guidelines and best practices for preserving and maintaining access to email and other electronic records. Files may be retained in electronic or hard copy formats. As always, be sure to backup your files on a server or on portable media.


Due to federal and state privacy laws, student records, personnel records, medical records, or other records or research material containing personally identifiable information require special handling and may be restricted. In general, the University Archives does not retain such materials in personal papers. Such records should be segregated from other records, retained securely, and destroyed confidentially. Consult archivists in Special Collections for further information.

Request to Donate Personal Papers to the University Archives

If you would like to donate your personal papers to the University Archives, please fill out the online Request to Donate form or email to make arrangements.