Skip to Main Content

Ottawa University Archives Guide

To Maintain the current archives website which has disappeared from the main library site.





The Gangwish Library’s mission for Ottawa University’s Historical Archives is to collect, preserve, and create access for materials relating to the history of and initial formation of Ottawa University. The Gangwish Library will house the university archives, catalog, classify, collect, preserve, maintain and digitize materials that pertain to the historical development of the campus, with the inclusion of materials pertaining to the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Community that have had an impact Ottawa University.



To foster an interest and enjoyment in, and an understanding of Ottawa University’s archival and museum collections and heritage amongst students, faculty, staff and alumni, by developing the full potential of the seven historical/museum collections in the Gangwish Library’s care



  • Setting up a plan of action with goals, objectives, priorities and targets for achievement, to be carried out over the next five years in order to achieve the objectives set out to catalog, describe and preserve six museum collections and 1 textile collection.
  • Considering the budgetary and resource implications of this action plan and how it would affect the Gangwish Library and the College


  1. Transfer the collection to acid-free archive boxes and files
  2. Continue with sorting archives by subject and place in acid-free folders
  3. Continue to classify archival materials
  4. Contain to work on box lists.


  1. Acquire a line number in the budget for archives
  2. Purchase additional archival supplies: archives boxes and preservation supplies
  3. Investigate Archival Subject headings and acquire books on archives management and archives cataloguing
  4. Investigate archives standards
  5. Describe and catalog the archive collection (ongoing)
  6. Understand and describe Ottawa University Alumni Objects and understand how they fit in with the collection
  7. Engage history and art majors in continuing archives internship opportunities


  1. Engage a full-time archivist in the archives
  2. Continue to engage history and art majors in continuing archives internship opportunities
  3. Acquire large scanner for archiving large items in the collection
  4. Continue to digitize archives collections for preservation purposes
  5. Manage collections despite budget cuts
  6. Continue to add to and preserve the collections in our charge
  7. Work to provide PR for photograph collections

Inherent Priorities

  • Student Internship is offered through the Art or the History Department to its majors. Interns receive a grade for 1-3 credit hours per semester, so that students would be interested and willing to work at the Gangwish Library and provide us with what is needed in order to complete cataloging, describing and preserving the collection and getting in ready for assessment and evaluation
  • Continue Artstor Consortium (Final Year 2018-2019)
  • Continue to Digitize online collections
  • Complete Beatrice Holt Collection digitization
  • Describe and store art collections in archives
  • Identify and evaluate the key issues concerning the development of the collection that needs to be done by making library archives connections outside the library

Tasks that need to be completion to meet objectives and priorities

  • Learn Artstor and teach students and faculty to use it
  • Catalog collections
  • Label and Number Collections
  • Differentiate between Collections
  • Describe Collections
  • Use Software to describe Collections
  • Research Collection History
  • Preserve Object Collections
  • Store Collections
  • Digitize Collections
  • Assess and Evaluate Collection worth
  • Continue to Maintain, assess, evaluate and care for collections

Internship Note

A Student Internship at the Library was established in Fall of 2003 through to Spring 2004 and has been in place for twelve years. In the first year, a student from the Museum Studies Program at the University of Kansas, pioneered and successfully completed her internship. As a result of the Internship opportunity, the Myers Library acquired the Past Perfect Software program and began an analysis, description and cataloging of three of the five collections that are housed by the Myers Library. Along with that we began the digitization of objects in three collections, acquired preservation boxes and papers as needed to start working on the preservation projects. A final report was written on the status of the collections at Ottawa University. The internship has continued on in 2005 and the ongoing work, with a collaborative program with the Ottawa Art Department, allowing an art major to complete two (Fall and Spring) semesters of museum and archives Internship at the Gangwish Library. The History Department also began to send us interns and this has helped us tremendously to move forward with digitizing archives and transcription of important documents.