Elements of a Departmental, Organizational, or Alumni History

Part of the mission of the BGSU University Archives is to collect the historically significant records of university departments and student organizations.  But what kinds of information make for good history from these groups? Where can you find the information? We offer some suggestions below about the types of information to be collected and offered to the University Archives, but not all the suggestions are necessary for each department or organization. 

In general, we specifically look for records in their final form (i.e. the approved minutes or final report rather than drafts).  In addition we wish only to collect records that are inactive - that is to say, no longer being used for routine business.  Once in the University Archives, records are there to stay.  Members of a department or organization are free to visit the Center for Archival Collections and use any materials in our holdings, but removal of materials is not permitted for any purpose.  We can also provide high-quality copies and digital scans of any material needed.

For help with any questions about what types of records may or may not be of interest to the University Archives, or the donation process, please contact the University Archives.

Department or Organization History

The following lists are always useful, and information about individuals can be added as discovered. Include dates of service if located.

  • Department Chairs
  • Faculty and Distinguished Faculty Members
  • Secretaries and Clerical Staff
  • Outstanding Alumni
  • Officers
  • Outstanding class members
  • Class officers
  • Student Government officers
  • Outstanding athletes and coaches
  • Influential faculty and administrators

In addition to noting the curriculum-related information below, information about the physical plant (what building housed the department offices, etc.), is also useful.

  • Department from which your department developed
  • Departments which developed from yours
  • Development of Graduate Programs
  • Named chairs, lectureships, fellowships
  • Colloquia and Lecture Series
  • Laboratory equipment, special libraries or other resources, especially those affecting coursework or research
  • Related honorary organizations
  • Related national organizations
  • Related student organizations
  • Related academic departments
  • Lists of events sponsored, projects, productions, concerts
  • Watershed events, such as major grants or research which affected the development of the department or group
  • Buildings, offices
  • Outstanding service projects
  • Newsletters
  • Other publications
  • Photographs, including a portrait of each faculty member, formal department group portraits, and informal snapshots of faculty and students
  • Photographs of student leadership, student organization activities, both formal photographs and informal snapshots
        Note regarding photographs - if at all possible, please provide identifying information such as individuals shown, date (at the very least approximate year(s)), and/or occasion)     
  • Residence halls
  • Fraternities and sororities
  • Student Government
  • Black Student Union
  • Latino Student Union
  • Service organizations, fund raisers; other student clubs
  • Performances
    • Musical programs and concerts (students)
    • Theater productions
    • University-sponsored concerts, lectures, film series
  • Intercollegiate athletic teams
    • men’s teams
    • women’s teams
    • coaches
    • win-loss records
    • major tournaments and titles
  • Intramural sports
  • Student discipline rules
  • Falcon’s Nest and Student Union
  • Buildings constructed, remodeled or torn down
  • Outstanding service projects
  • Favorite hang-outs in Bowling Green and elsewhere
    • stores
    • theaters
    • watering holes and restaurants
  • Homecoming, graduation, holidays, dances, dating
  • Miscellaneous and fun information
  • Events off-campus which affected student life
  • Controversies on-campus which affected student life

Additional Information

Good history starts with good records keeping.  And the way business gets done, whether in a department, student organization, or athletic club, is through meetings.  And the best way to keep track of what is done at these meetings is through keeping meeting minutes. These can be formal or informal, elaborate or not, but whatever the style, meeting minutes can be a great historical record of the activities of a organization and those who were involved in it.  Not sure where to begin on how to keep minutes?  There are plenty of online resources, and a few Word templates below to give you a start.

Sample Agenda and Meeting Minutes Word Template

Sample Long Form Meeting Minutes Word Template

Sample Short Form Meeting Minutes Word Template