Documenting the history of Johns Hopkins University is a core responsibility of the Ferdinand Hamburger University Archives. The Archives collects administrative files, university publications, photographs, audiovisual materials, and memorabilia that document all aspects of campus life. In addition, the department collects the privately-held records of Johns Hopkins University faculty.

What constitutes “Faculty Records”?

Faculty records are privately-held materials that are created, received and maintained by faculty members as evidence of their careers. Also referred to as faculty “papers,” the personal records of faculty contain significant evidence of teaching, research, professional activity, and university service, areas through which researchers can gain valuable perspectives on the intellectual vitality of the university community. Faculty records can be rich resources of university history in addition to documenting the careers of individuals. They may exist in analog or digital form.

Without a broad range of faculty records available for consultation, the Archives cannot provide a full complement of perspectives on the historical activities of the Johns Hopkins University.

General Collecting Criteria

We prioritize the acquisition of records from faculty that have made significant contributions to one or more of the above areas. We do not acquire a faculty member’s entire accumulated archives, only those areas in which there is evidence of significant contribution that is not well supported in the published record.

All Tenured Faculty

The Archives endeavors to collect a photograph and a CV for each tenured member of the faculty.

Select Faculty

The Archives collects materials that document one or more of the following faculty-related functions:

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Professional Service
  • University Service

Detailed Collecting Criteria


  • Recipient of major teaching award(s)
  • Significant number of graduate students trained and placed in higher education institutions
  • First to teach a subject on campus
  • Established new curriculum, department, or program on campus
  • Advanced the field of university education

Types of documentation: Syllabi, lecture notes, slides/transparencies, student advisee files.

Examples of formats: Letters, notebooks, transparencies, word processing files, PDFs, Powerpoint or Keynote presentations, emails.

Out of scope: Photocopies of articles, illegible notes.


  • Established a new area of research
  • Significant patents, inventions
  • Produced major scholarly, literary, or artistic works
  • Recipient of significant research grants
  • Substantive unpublished research data that is not being maintained by a data archive

Types of documentation: Correspondence with granting agencies, colleagues, and editors; field notes, datasets containing results from non-repeatable experiments; manuscripts with substantive edits (i.e. not copy edits); software code written for a research project; significant grey literature produced by faculty member, including technical reports.

Examples of formats: Letters, emails, blogs, personal websites, word processing files, PDFs, notebooks, digital images, spreadsheets.

Out of scope: Copies of articles or books used for research, most annotated books and articles, article reprints, page proofs, datasets derived from repeatable experiments, research files not containing any of the above accepted forms of documentation.

Professional Service

  • Appointment to a significant national or international organization
  • Designation as “fellow” within relevant professional society
  • Top honor within relevant professional society
  • Presented at significant meetings, conferences, and symposia
  • Served as editor for significant professional publication

Types of documentation: speeches, lectures, slides/transparencies, correspondence with meeting organizers about the faculty member’s contribution.

Examples of formats: Paper, transparencies, word processing files, PDFs, Powerpoint or Keynote presentations, emails.

Out of scope: Conference proceedings, records of professional organizations, cancelled checks and invoices, routine correspondence with meeting organizers, newspaper clippings, media clips, awards.

University Service

  • Leadership position for purpose of conducting official university activity (Provost, Dean, Department Chair)

Types of documentation: Files managed while maintaining university appointment. The Archives will investigate overlap with university records holdings.

Examples of formats: Letters, emails, word processing files, PDFs.

Out of scope: Reference copies of official records already located in the University Archives.

Factors Weighing Against Acceptance

The following conditions may apply to an entire collection or to a portion of a collection.

  • Identifiable portion of papers will be restricted or closed due to laws governing privacy or human research subjects
  • Portions of records are held by another archival repository, as this fragments the documentary record
  • Majority of career was spent at another institution
  • Long-term restrictions placed by donor
  • Donor is not willing to transfer physical ownership of records

Donor Rights

The Archives recognizes the rights of faculty and private donors to impose reasonable restrictions on materials to protect privacy and confidentiality. Restrictions on access should be for a fixed term and determined at the time of donation. The Archives encourages minimal access restrictions consistent with the legal rights of all parties. Priority is placed on faculty records that can be open for research use.