Collection Development Policy


William H. Hannon Library's Department of Archives and Special Collections acquires, preserves, makes available, and promotes rare and unique research materials of enduring historical and cultural value in support of Loyola Marymount University's mission to provide a transformative academic experience.

We seek to enhance learning and scholarship at the University and worldwide through our diverse collections, services and collaborative programs.

Collecting Principles

The Department of Archives and Special Collections holds the historical records of the University, rare books, manuscripts, postcards, art, artifacts, and audiovisual materials. We selectively acquire research materials that build subject areas important to the University's identity and mission, that support undergraduate and graduate education at LMU, and that establish collecting strengths that distinguish us from our peers. We emphasize acquisition of collections that illuminate the rich history of Catholicism in Los Angeles as well as document the history of the three religious orders central to the University's heritage: the Society of Jesus, the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. Our selections enhance existing research and teaching collection strengths and, whenever possible, anticipate changing academic needs and interests in these areas. Based on these collecting principles, we actively use our collections for teaching and learning through class visits to the Department and to engage LMU and the public through exhibitions and outreach programs.

Collecting Areas

To view detailed collection development policies for specific collecting areas, click on the links below:

Primary Collecting Methods

Collecting responsibilities reside ultimately with Archives and Special Collections with input from appropriate stakeholders.


Donations are the preferred method of acquiring special collections. Members of the Department of Archives and Special Collections and the Dean of the Library solicit gifts of material from individuals and organizations. Other members of the university and larger community assist in identifying potential donors. Donor inquiries are welcomed.


The Department of Archives and Special Collections also purchases materials from established dealers and auctions, financed by annual University materials budget funding and interest from specified endowments.


Archives and Special Collections may acquire books through selective transfers from the William H. Hannon Library's circulating collection.

To help us build our collection funds, please visit the library's Giving Page and select Archives and Special Collections as the area of your choice under "Designations."

For donations of collection materials, please see our Gifts-in-Kind policy. All gifts accepted must be accompanied by a deed of gift and will become the property of Loyola Marymount University.

Deaccession / Deselection of Materials

The Department of Archives and Special Collections reserves the right, once they are in its possession, to deaccession and to deselect materials according to accepted professional practices and legal guidelines governing such acts. Deaccessioning is the process by which an institution permanently removes collections from its holdings previously accepted as permanent donations. Deselection is the identification, removal, and discarding of unwanted individual items from our collections. The two processes are not to be confused with each other.

The department's collection development policy informs both deselection and deaccessioning. Both processes are necessary to manage properly the resources and collections of the department and are to be conducted carefully according to professional practices and standards. For more information, please see our full policies in regards to deselection and deaccessioning.