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Archiving Guidelines for MLA Units

The Medical Library Association archives all substantive correspondence and documentation of all its organizational units including but not limited to MLA’ s chapters and sections on an ongoing basis.


1. The following information is retained for the archives:

  • Proceedings of chapter and section business meetings and programs
  • Transcription of tapes (e.g., annual programs)
  • Committee information including rosters, charges, minutes
  • Officers, including terms of office
  • Reports (final report only, not working documents)
  • Awards including description of award and listing of awardees
  • Correspondence which relates to MLA policy and program development
  • Newsletters
  • Photographs
    • should be section members only, including officers, awardees, program speakers, in memorium photos, etc.
    • should be for commemorative events and ceremonies (e.g., presentation of an award, special plaque or resolution in honor of a major anniversary, or for the other categories listed under the bullet above
    • preservation guidelines for digital photos
      • submit via cd-rom or dvd
      • human readable and logical file names using camel case (e.g., 20100301-BoardMinutes.pdf; 201005-AwardsPhoto.jpg)
      • organized into directories with logical event/office names and dates
      • enhanced option: spreadsheet/manifest with separate columns devoted to file names; description of file content whether names of people in photos or descriptions of a business record; date of capture/creation
    • preservation guidelines for print photos
      • write the occasion, date, and names of individuals in pencil on the back of each photograph
      • photographs should be packed tightly in an acid free envelope (photos tend to warp if they are not packed tightly)
  • Section member listings by year (these can be found on your community forum)

2. Each chapter and section designates an archivist to retain information to be archived.

3 . Annually, at the end of the chapter and section year (i.e., sections-June; chapters-rotation of new officers), the archivist sends information to be archived to the MLA Headquarters (Mary Langman), Suite 1900, 65 East Wacker Place, Chicago, IL 60601-7298.

4 . Information to be archived should be organized by subject in individual manila files that are clearly labeled with the section/chapter name, contents, and beginning and ending dates for the contents of the information in the file.

5 . When sending an archives shipment to MLA headquarters, archivists complete an MLA Record Transfer Form. The form is included with the shipment and a copy maintained by the chapter/section archivist.

6 . Questions regarding shipments to the archives or use of the archives should be addressed to Mary Langman, Directory of Information Issues and Policy, who serves as staff liaison to the archives. Telephone: 312.419.9094 x27