Collection Development Policy

Statement of Purpose

  • Acquire and appraise archival materials which illustrate the history, functions, growth, and operation of Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital
  • Arrange and describe these materials and make them available for use
  • Provide adequate and appropriate conditions for the storage, protection, and preservation of archival material
  • Provide reference services to researchers, historians, and other users of the archives
  • Perform education and outreach to ZSFG, UCSF, and the community


  • Records of enduring value shall be defined as resources – in any media or any format, including electronic – that have ongoing historical, administrative, legal, or financial value. Ideally, in the aggregate, such records will document both the organization and the activities of all departments, divisions, offices, and units of the hospital.
  • The archives will acquire records through active solicitation on the part of the ZSFG Archivist, the Archives Advisory Committee, and benevolence on the part of administrators in a manner that is consistent with the policies of the hospital. In the case of the hospital, the archives will direct primary attention toward acquiring the records of the CEO, the Board of Trustees and its committees, the medical staff, and the major clinical departments. The archives will especially seek to acquire material from any administrative, academic, or clinical unit where the material is of historical interest but is in proximate danger of neglect or destruction.
  • The Archives will accept historical material of any medium, including: textual records; photographs and other visual records; maps, plans, and architectural records; sound recordings and oral history tapes, and “born-digital” materials. The Archives will only accept books, printed material, artifacts, and electronically stored data at the discretion of the Archivist.
  • ZSFG institutional records
    • Accreditation reports
    • Affiliation agreements
    • Annual reports
    • Audio-visual materials (including audio and videotapes, CDs and DVDs, films, photographs, and slides)
    • Biographical information regarding faculty and staff
    • Budgets (annual finalized reports only)
    • Correspondence and memoranda
    • Committee minutes and reports
    • Histories (printed and oral)
    • Maps and architectural drawings
    • Memorabilia and ephemera (news clippings, programs, pins, posters, etc)
    • Policy and procedure manuals
    • Publications (including annual reports, catalogs, bulletins, class schedules, conference proceedings, directories, newsletters, press releases, brochures, pamphlets, strategic plans, and yearbooks)
    • Reports and planning documents
    • Research project reports, including final grant reports
    • Theses
    • Web pages (electronic files)
  • ZSFG Manuscript Archives
    • Manuscripts are defined as original, unique materials, not reproductions
    • The personal and professional papers of some doctors, nurses, administrators, and/or professors associated with the hospital will be actively sought. The archives will automatically accept the papers of Nobel laureates, chairs of departments, professors emeriti, and/or recipients of the hospital’s annual ZSFG Chancellor’s Award and ZSFG Volunteer Physicians of the Year. Papers of other individuals will be accepted at the discretion of the ZSFG Archivist. Acceptance will be based, in whole or in part, upon the following considerations: rank or position of the individual, length of service at the hospital, national reputation in an academic/clinical field, and prior interest or contributions toward the development of the archives. A Deed of Gift will accompany the transfer of all personal papers to the archives. Greater consideration for acceptance will be given to those papers that contain few – if any – access restrictions in the Deed of Gift.
    • Correspondence, drafts of published materials, personal papers, diaries, laboratory notebooks, teaching materials (copies of lectures, etc), photographs, scrapbooks, “any other unique materials that would assist in defining and delineating a person’s life, intellectual output, and accomplishments”
  • Records concerning the UCSF/ZSFG relationship, including student papers and notes
  • ZSFG publications
  • SFDPH, CHN, and San Francisco City and County records and publications regarding ZSFG

Special Considerations and Exceptions

  • Although it is not presently within the primary scope of the collection development policy to accept records pertaining to UCSF or records pertaining to other hospitals or departments within the SF Department of Public Health, etc., such records may be considered for acceptance when they closely complement or greatly enhance a better understanding of the records of Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.
  • Records from any source that for reasons of confidentiality and/or legality are permanently closed to access will not be accepted. This category of records may include certain patient medical records, student academic records, or personnel records.
  • Financial transaction documents will not be accepted. Such documents include, but are not limited to, cancelled checks, credit card slips, invoices, purchase orders, ledger reports, petty cash vouchers and/or receipts, and any non-final budget reports.
  • Multiple copies (more than two) of any document will generally be discarded.
  • The archives will not normally accept rare books or medical instruments unless they are extremely relevant to the history of the hospital. Apart from a few such items retained for reference or exhibit purposes, rare books and medical instruments currently held by the archives will be deaccessioned and offered to other appropriate collecting institutions.
  • Films or videocassettes not produced by and about the hospital will not normally be accepted. For example, medical films by outside sources used for classroom instruction or videotapes of televised interviews by medical center physicians will not usually be accepted.
  • Medical slides will not be accepted unless the transferring unit or donor can convincingly demonstrate their long-term research or exhibit value.
  • Published works and books will not be accepted.

Ownership of Materials

Donated materials will become the permanent property of the ZSFG Archives. Decisions about the materials will be made by the archivist, including decisions to deaccession and/or dispose of the materials.


Material acquired by the ZSFG Archives shall become the permanent property of the Archives until such time as the Archivist deems it no longer relevant to the Archives, in which case the material may be deaccessioned. All information pertaining to the deaccessioning and disposition of material will be retained in the Archives’ records. The Archives retains the right to reproduce materials by mechanical, electronic, or photographic means for security, conservation, or research purposes.