Archives Mission Statement
The mission of the Archives shall be to collect, safeguard, and provide access to archives and manuscript materials which document the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community of Chicago, Illinois, and the Midwest region of the United States, as outlined in the Collecting Objectives section below. The Midwest shall be defined as the states of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan. These archives and manuscript materials shall be made fully accessible to the public, and any restriction on their use will be imposed only by the original donor and applicable legal statutes. Materials that appear to be of a sensitive nature may also be restricted when processed.
The materials in the Archives shall be maintained for the protection and safeguarding of records considered to be of timely value to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. Materials of value shall be defined as documents that record the transactions of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals, organizations, and businesses.
The Archives will provide long-term care and safekeeping to the papers and documents of individuals, organizations, and businesses primarily from Chicago and Illinois, but also from the Midwest and elsewhere when deemed appropriate. These records will be accepted in exchange for allowing them to be made fully accessible to the public for research.
The Archives will actively seek to acquire:
While it is the expressed purpose of the Gerber/Hart Archives to actively collect materials from the community, limitations of space, money, and scope shall be considered when collecting materials.
The personal papers of individuals, and the records of organizations and businesses which do not fall into the stated geographic boundaries, or whose content does not meet the stated criteria, may on occasion be collected due to special monetary or informational value.
The Gerber/Hart Archives will accept into its collections completed and transcribed oral histories by or about members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.
Gerber/Hart will not undertake an oral history project until the financial resources are available to adequately and professionally complete such an undertaking.
The Archives will accept electronic records provided that those records can be read and printed by equipment currently owned by and available at the library/archives facility.
These Archives policies will be reviewed every two years by members of the Archives Committee, in consultation with a professional archivist.
Archives - the documents created or received and accumulated by a person or organization in the course of the conduct of affairs, and preserved because of their continuing value.
Manuscript - the term is variously used to refer to archives, to artificial collections of documents acquired from various sources usually according to a plan but without regard to provenance, and to individual documents acquired by a manuscript repository because of their significance.
Transaction - an act or several interconnected acts in which more than one person is involved and by which the relations of these persons between themselves are altered; also a record of business transacted at a business or conference, including published accounts or reports of the proceedings, discussions, etc.