Repository Type List

Repository Type Vocabulary List

This list is based on the Society of American Archivists types of archives overview with revision and expansion to better suit SNAC's needs.

A repository can assign themselves than one repository type if a repository identifies with more than one type.

  • College and university archives are archives that preserve materials relating to a specific academic institution. Such archives may also contain a "special collections" division (see definition below).
    • Examples: Stanford University Archives, Mount Holyoke College Archives.
  • Community archives are the archives of a group of people that share common interests, and/or social, cultural, or historical heritage, usually created by members of the group being documented and maintained outside of traditional archives.
    • Examples: Invisible Histories Project, Detroit Sound Conservancy
  • Corporate archives are archival departments within a company, organization, or corporation that manage and preserve the records of that entity's activities.
    • Examples: Ford Motor Company Archives, Kraft Foods Archives, Metropolitan Opera archives.
  • Digital archives are repositories established solely around digitized and born-digital material, frequently without a physical space.
    • Examples: Jewish Women's Archive, Theodore Roosevelt Center, Internet Archive
  • Genealogical societies are repositories that collect material for family history research.
    • Examples: American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society, Genealogical Society of Utah
  • Government archives are repositories that collect materials relating to local, state, national, or international government entities.
    • Examples: The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, the New York State Archives, City of Boston Archives.
  • Historical societies are organizations that seek to preserve and promote interest in the history of a region, a historical period, non-government organizations, or a subject.
    • Examples: The Wisconsin Historical Society, the National Railway Historical Society, the San Fernando Valley Historical Society.
  • Museums are places where works of art, scientific specimens, or other objects of permanent value are kept and displayed.
    • Examples: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
  • Private collections are archives under private ownership. The owner may also be the collector and/or creator.
    • Examples: Walker Library of the History of Human Imagination (Jay Walker, Connecticut); Harlan Crow Library (Harlan Crow, Texas)
  • Religious archives are archives relating to the traditions or institutions of a religious group or individual place(s) of worship.
    • Examples: United Methodist Church Archives, American Jewish Archives.
  • Special collections are repositories containing materials from individuals, families, and organizations deemed to have significant historical value.
    • Examples: Special Collections Research Center at the University of Chicago, American Philosophical Society Library, Boston Public Library.