University Archives mission and policy , Te wawata me te kaupapa here mō ngā tukunga kōrero

The Massey University Archives is administered by the Massey University Library.


The Massey University Archives currently comprises three distinct categories which are defined in this policy as:

  • the Massey University Corporate Archives
  • the Massey University Heritage Archives
  • the Institutional Records Archive.


The Massey University Archives is a preservation and information organization which collects, arranges, describes preserves and makes known archival information in support of the university’s mission and aims, statutory obligations, teaching and research goals, and role in the community.

Consequently, the University Archives:

  1. serves as the archival repository of the University, its antecedent institutions and University-funded affiliated organisations and strives to be an approved repository;
  2. serves as the institutional memory of the University by collecting not only its corporate archives, but also other historically significant University-related information regarding the inception, history, development, activities, life and functions of the University;
  3. strives to reflect the influence and significance of Massey University in the lives of people by collecting archival material of staff, students, alumni and benefactors as long as this material has particular historical, cultural, scientific or research value;
  4. serves as a collecting archives which collects and preserves selective external material for teaching and research purposes. This includes:
    1) material relevant to the research and teaching disciplines of the University, that have historical, scientific or research value;
    2) material relating to the history and activities of New Zealand individuals who have achieved a level of distinction in their career or life;
    3) the archives of institutions, such as businesses operating in economic sectors and industries supported in some way by the University’s activities and including New Zealand’s primary, rural and dairying business history;
    4) the archives of New Zealand community, cultural and professional organisations;
  5. renders a service to an internal and external market consisting of University staff, students and alumni, international and local scholars, the media and the general public;
  6. strives to the highest possible levels of excellence, expertise, service delivery, integrity, ethical conduct and professionalism.

Policy and Guidelines

To realise the core mission of the Massey University Archives, a number of aspects will be taken into account.

I. Collection Policy

  1. Only material with intrinsic value will be collected. During the collection process, Archives staff will focus on selecting material needed for realising the core mission statement. When the need arises, a selection or appraisal committee comprising relevant experts and Archives staff will be formed to facilitate this process.
  2. Material collected may include archives, records, manuscripts, ephemera, cartographic material, audio-visual material, newspapers, monographs, periodicals and other publications, photographic materials, works of art and pictorial material, posters, banners and objects.
  3. The Archives will collect material in analogue and digital format.
  4. The Archives will not store more than three copies of any physical item, unless the item is of great historical importance, and will store only one copy of any digital item.
  5. Material may be collected through transfer, donation, bequest, deposit and, in rare cases, loan or purchase.
  6. The acceptance of donations and bequests is subject to any university policy governing donations. The Archives’ Deed of Gift form should be completed for all donations.
  7. When materials are donated with certain restrictions, including copyright restrictions, or if the material is subject to tapu, this should be noted on the Deed of Gift form. Material should preferably be donated without any restrictions. The Archives will not accept material that is closed or restricted in perpetuity.
  8. The Archives will accept material on deposit, with the understanding that such an arrangement is long-term and with the expectation that the deposited material will in due course become the property of the Archives.
  9. Only when absolutely necessary for interpretation and research purposes will any of material be loaned from or to other institutions and individuals. No permanent loans or loans for indefinite periods of time will be permitted. A loan agreement must be compiled for every loan. A Loan Ending Agreement and a Deed of Gift form, both containing explanatory notes, must be completed for any material that is transferred from a loan to a donation.
  10. In the rare instance of items being offered for sale to the University Archives, such items may be purchased, provided the seller’s ownership is undisputed.
  11. Collection of material may happen through fieldwork or appeals in the media.
  12. The University Archives strives to ensure the authenticity of its collections. Items may be excluded if their authenticity, origin or ownership is under suspicion. Should it be necessary, donors should be requested to provide evidence of ownership of the items in question.
  13. After their physical transfer to the archival repository all donated materials irrevocably become the property of the Massey University Archives. This does not necessarily apply to archival taonga and cultural material which have been donated to the University Archives for safekeeping. Ownership or custodial rights of such materials will be negotiated on a case by case basis with the owners of the material.
  14. The University Archives may dispose of any donated material that does not meet the stipulations of this policy. In the case where items have been donated to the University Archives, the donor will be consulted if this is possible within reasonable means. Disposal may consist of either returning the material to the donor, transferring it to another bona fide heritage/preservation institution or by destroying the material.
  15. All material held by the Archives will be stored, preserved and, depending on access restrictions, made available for research and teaching purposes, including via the internet.
  16. The acceptance of material by the Archives does not guarantee the exhibiting thereof.

Massey University Corporate Archives

  1. As the archival repository of the university, the University Archives will collect, mainly through transfer, the institution’s public records of archival value, in accordance with the Records Management Policy, and work with the university’s Records Management Office to manage the university’s public records.
  2. The retention and disposal of university records must be undertaken in accordance with the General Disposal Authority (GDA) for New Zealand Universities and any variations of this that have been approved for use by Massey University by the Chief Archivist of New Zealand. This will prevent the duplication of records preserved in the Archives and will safeguard archival records of the university against accidental destruction.
  3. In accordance with the provisions of the GDA, certain classes of records will automatically be appraised for historical and legacy value by the University Archivist at the time of sentencing and the custody of these records will pass to the University Archives at this time.
  4. To ensure their proper care, university records of archival value should not be held by university offices after the records have reached 25 years of age. All such archival records should be transferred to the custody of the University Archives.
  5. All records relating to Massey University’s predecessors (Massey Agricultural College, Palmerston North University College, Palmerston North College of Education and Wellington Polytechnic) are likely to be of archival value and should be appraised by the University Archivist prior to the GDA being applied on such records.
  6. The university office owning active or inactive records, that have not yet reached their disposal date in terms of the GDA, should obtain the necessary permission for the transfer from the Records Management Office prior to contacting the University Archives.
  7. If an office possesses archival records that have reached their GDA disposal date, they should arrange the transfer of such records to the care of the Archives.
  8. When transferring archival records to the Archives, groups of files and other records should be transferred as a whole. These files should be inventoried and the inventory supplied to the University Archivist prior to the transfer. This will protect the value and context of the archival records and information. A Transfer Agreement form should be completed before transferring archival records to the Archives.

Massey University Heritage Archives

  1. As the institutional memory of the university and in order to build up a heritage collection that accurately reflects the history, influence and significance of Massey University, the University Archives will collect, in addition to the university’s corporate archives, any material deemed necessary for this purpose.
  2. Research data will not be collected, unless it has very significant historical value.
  3. As far as practicable, the Archives will strive to collect at least one copy of all university publications, whether they are of academic, administrative or student origin.
  4. As a collecting archive, the University Archives will collect selective external material for research and teaching purposes, as defined in its Mission statement.

Institutional Records Archive

  1. In order to help preserve the history of New Zealand’s primary, secondary and service industries, in which Massey University has played a leading role since its inception, the University Archives will maintain and expand its unique archive of institutional records:
  2. The Archives will proactively collect business records of and historical material relating to dairy companies from throughout New Zealand to add to its Dairy Records Archive;
  3. The Archives will proactively collect material relating to other businesses, organisations and persons that have a relevance to the industries associated with the teaching and research work of Massey University and its predecessors.
  4. Institutional items collected, in order of importance:
    1) Minute books;
    2) Share registers;
    3) Legal records, including Memorandum and Articles of Association, Department of Justice annual returns, contracts etc;
    4) Architectural drawings, local government building regulations etc;
    5) Photographs;
    6) Publications by the company, for example Jubilee booklets, annual reports;
    7) Correspondence – this includes circulars from other related companies and government departments;
    8) Financial records, for example cash books, journal, ledgers, milk payouts etc;
    9) Manufacturing records, for example statistics of production, milk sheets etc;
    10) Publications not produced by the company but related to the company’s business;
    11) Objects and memorabilia, for example milk powder tins, cheese packets, butter wrappers, brands etc.
  5. Personal items collected, in order of importance:
    1) Diaries;
    2) Scientific papers;
    3) Correspondence - both private and business related;
    4) Newspaper clippings;
    5) Photographs;
    6) Material that gives a picture of the activities of the individual or family.

II. Access Policy

  1. The University Archives is committed to providing equitable access to its holdings.
  2. Access to any of the holdings of the Archives is subject to parliamentary laws such as the Official Information Act 1982, the Privacy Act 1993, the Copyright Act 1994 and the Public Records Act 2005, and any Massey University policies governing commercial, intellectual and other interests.
  3. Access is restricted to the Archives’ holdings of confidential archival records of the university that are less than 25 years old. These restrictions do not necessarily apply to the internal consultation, for official reasons, of archival records by employees of the university.
  4. Once the university’s archival records in our care have been in existence for 25 years, they may be considered open for public inspection unless there exists any university-imposed restrictions on access to such archival records.
  5. Should external researchers wish to consult restricted archival records of the university held at the Archives, they must apply in writing to the University Librarian. The final decision on granting access to these archival records lies with the University Librarian and University Archivist, in consultation with the head of the office of origin of such records.
  6. When donors have imposed access restrictions, those restrictions will be maintained for the length of time agreed upon.
  7. The University Archivist may restrict access to material based on the fragile condition of the material. Researchers however have the right to appeal in writing to the University Librarian where access has been restricted to fragile material.
  8. Access to the collections will be ensured through the maintenance and development of electronic and hardcopy finding aids.

III. Guidelines for the use of Archives holdings

  1. Researchers must complete the Registration and Indemnification Form before consulting or using the holdings of the University Archives.
  2. Material is consulted in the Archives’ Reading Room.
  3. No material may be taken out of the Archives.
  4. Our holdings are accessible through electronic and hard copy finding aids.
  5. Care must be taken when handling the Archives’ material. Researchers may only access one box at a time and they may only consult one file or item at a time from that box. The order of archival records must not be changed. Should researchers notice that the order of records has been disturbed, they must inform a member of the Archives staff.
  6. Only paper, pencils, research material and personal computers may be used in the Reading Room. Bags and briefcases must be placed in the designated storage area. No food, drink or smoking is allowed in the Archives.
  7. It is prohibited to write on, mark or rest on any material in our holdings. For note taking purposes, researchers must use a soft pencil. Gloves, provided by the Archives staff, must be worn when handling photographic material and other items identified by the Archives staff.
  8. Copying, scanning and photography of material may only be done in the Archives with the permission and where necessary under supervision of Archives staff. Photocopying and scanning facilities are provided at cost. Digital cameras may be used to make reference copies of material. It is prohibited to duplicate restricted access material or items that may be damaged by copying or scanning. When the need arises, alternative ways will be utilised to copy information from fragile items.
  9. The University Archivist determines the hours during which the Reading Room is open for research.
  10. Entry to the Archives and access in person to our holdings are free of charge. Enquiries from people who cannot visit the Archives in person are free for the first hour.
  11. Archives staff must be informed of the purpose and form of research outputs. As far as possible, a copy of the research output, based on extensive research done at the Archives, should be provided to the University Archives. The Massey University Archives must be acknowledged in all publications/manuscripts/theses resulting from research in our archival collections. “MUA” may be used as a shortened reference for the Massey University Archives. Archives staff will maintain guidelines for more detailed referencing of items from the collections.
  12. Researchers who do not adhere to these regulations may be denied access to the archives.
  13. It is against the law to damage archival records or steal any material from our collections. Offences in this regard are punishable in accordance with the Public Records Act 2005 and the Crimes Act 1961.

Find out more

The text above is an extract of the main points of the Massey University Archives mission and policy document. A copy of the complete document can be obtained by emailing

Massey University Archives

Contact us or visit.

Massey University Archives


Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.00pm


+64 6 356 9099 extension 83197


Physical address:
Room 1.38 Practical Teaching Complex
Albany Drive
Manawatū Campus
Palmerston North
New Zealand

Postal address:
Massey University
Private Bag 11-222
Palmerston North 4442
New Zealand