Skip to Main Content

Share Your Student Organization Records with Duke University Archives

Donating Digital Materials

Many student groups are maintaining documentation solely in a digital format—from meeting minutes kept in a central Google Drive to photos, videos, and more. This documentation can be included as part of your group’s archived records. Here’s some background information on how we collect this digital material.

A few things to know about archiving digital materials:

  • Access to these materials is mediated by University Archives staff, as with paper-based/physical documentation. Researchers wishing to look at these digital materials would visit the Rubenstein Library reading room and access them on a secure computer workstation or they would ask us to provide copies for their research use only. The materials would not be made freely available online.
  • Researchers accessing the digital materials in our reading room would not be able to alter the materials in any way or delete them.


Archiving Documents, Spreadsheets, Images, & Other Digital Files

Uploading Documentation to Box

The University Archives has a Microsoft Box folder that it uses to collect digital files created by student groups. We’re happy to talk about other options, based on your group’s record-keeping practices.

  • Uploading the documentation you want to archive directly to the University Archives’ Box folder means that you won’t have to print anything out or make a plan to deliver your digital files to us on a thumb drive.
  • Using Box will allow multiple members of your student organization to bring files that may be spread out on multiple computers together without passing a thumb drive around.

The Process:

  • If you have digital files to archive, University Archives staff will talk with you about the types of documentation to be transferred to us (e.g., meeting minutes, constitution/bylaws, budget documents, etc.).
  • University Archives staff will create a folder for you on Box and invite your designated group members to access it. (We’ll be available to help with any questions.)
  • Group members will then be able to deposit digital files in the appropriate folders. You’ll notify us when all of the files have been uploaded to the Box folder and we’ll accession the files into your group’s collection.


We can collect your group’s email—without you needing to print anything out! Transferring email is dependent on the email platform you and your organization use, so we’ll need to talk through the process with you as part of our larger discussion about archiving your group’s records. But there’s one key thing you can do to ensure your email is ready to transfer!

The Process:

  • Create a folder (if you’re using a client like Outlook or Apple Mail), or a tag (if you’re using Gmail) to gather together the messages your group wants to transfer to the University Archives.
  • Talk with University Archives staff about your group’s email set-up, so that we can work with you on a transfer strategy.

Removable Media

Certain digital formats, like uncompressed audio or video files, may be too large for Google Drive. Or you may have files from previous years that have been passed from group leader to group leader on USB thumb drives, external hard drives, CDs, DVDs, or even old floppy diskettes. In these cases, the University Archives can collect these removable storage media and extract the files for your group’s collection.

The Process:

  • Let University Archives staff know if you have removable storage media that contains files you’d like to archive. If you can, tell us the total size of the files you’ll be archiving, so that we can make sure we have storage space for them.
  • You’ll make an appointment with a University Archives staff member to drop off your device at the Rubenstein Library’s reading room.
  • Once we’ve archived the files on the removable media, we can return the device to you.


Archiving Web or Social Media Content

Static Web Content

The University Archives uses a service called Archive-It to capture most web-based materials (what we call "crawling"). This can include a group website or blog.

The Process:

  1. As part of the discussions about archiving your group’s materials, let us know if there are websites, blogs, or other web content that you’d like us to capture. We’ll ask you to provide us with the URLs for each site.
  2. We’ll talk with you about how frequently we should crawl your site(s). We might crawl infrequently-updated sites once or twice a year; frequently-updated sites, like blogs, might need to be crawled more often.
  3. Archive-It will then crawl and archive your site(s) based on this schedule, with no additional work needed from you!

Once we capture your website(s), we make the archived version available in two places. We will link to it from the collection guide or catalog record for your organization’s records. A link to your archived site(s) will also be added to our collection guide for our Web Archive Collection.

We do not currently archive social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. But we can help you brainstorm ways to document those pages as well as show you how to request your downloadable data from Twitter.