Archives Collection Development Policy

The purpose of the Crowell Library Archives is to collect and preserve archival materials which record the life and times of Dwight L. Moody (Moodyana), notable alumni and persons associated with Moody Bible Institute, and materials which illustrate the formation, organization, history and development of the Institute.

Collection of Archives Materials:

  • We generally do not purchase items for the Archives unless those items are particularly significant to the collection (for example, a handwritten letter by D.L. Moody).
  • The majority of materials added to the Archives collection come from donors outside the Institute or transfers from departments within the Institute.
  • Materials to be accepted for the Archives collection include:
    • D.L. Moody primary sources (letters, books, photographs, etc.)
    • D.L. Moody secondary sources (books, theses, clippings, articles, anecdotes, etc.)
    • MBI related items (presidents, trustees, professors, departments, alumni, class notes, course material, etc.)
    • Moody coworkers and contemporaries (Emma Dryer, Ira D. Sankey, D.W. Whittle, Cyrus McCormick, C.H. Spurgeon, YMCA material, etc.)
    • Historical contexts (Great Chicago Fire, religious controversies, etc.)
    • Historically significant or rare books (for example, The Great Bible (1549 ed.) by Coverdale, 1784 Foxe’s Book of Martyrs)
    • Bibles dating from 1820 or later will not be considered except in certain cases (acceptable cases: Bibles of high value due to their rarity and condition; foreign language Bibles written in languages not already in the collection)

Guiding Principles and Practices:

  • Two to three copies of every item are kept when possible. In the case of multiple copies, two to three of the best items are kept. For rare or valuable items, more than three copies may be saved.
  • We accept donations of materials for which we already have two to three copies for the purpose of swapping out materials in poor condition for materials in better condition or to save spares.
  • All Chicago donations are to be approved by the Public Services Head Librarian or designee.
  • The Library reserves the right to decide how the materials are displayed and housed, including the decision to donate, sell, or dispose of materials. Materials will not be returned to donors after donation.
  • Donors receive a thank you letter and Deed of Gift form provided by the Archives.
  • Administrative records transfers from all MBI departments to the Archives are encouraged and accepted. Transferring departments may choose to set access restrictions on their collection at the item level, section level, or on the collection as a whole; and restrictions may be set to individual persons, departments, or to anyone with permission from and designated by the transferring department. Transferred materials will not be returned to the transferring department but will always be accessible in the Archives.
  • Transferring departments receive a Record of Transfer form provided by the Archives.

Processing and Preservation of Archives Materials:

  • Newly acquired materials are processed once Deed of Gift or Record of Transfer forms are complete (or after a period of at least two months if the form is not returned).
  • Preservation of materials includes rehousing in appropriate boxes or files when necessary, reorganization when necessary (and when it does not disrupt provenance), and creation of an index.
  • The Archives Assistant will determine which indexing projects to work on based on collection significance unless directed otherwise by the Public Services Head Librarian.
  • The significance of any new or current collection dictates the amount of time spent on processing and the level of detail for the index.
  • High priority collections are those requested and used most frequently by researchers. These include:
    • Dwight L. Moody Collection
    • Moody Monthly magazines
    • Biographical file drawers
    • Photo file drawers
    • MBI Education drawers
    • MBI Education green boxes

Location Info

Crowell Library Archives
Moody Bible Institute

820 N. LaSalle Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60610-3284
Sweeting Center
Lower Level

Open Mon, Tue, & Thur
(by appointment)
(312) 329-4175

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