Michigan State University

Due to the Covid-19 Coronavirus situation, the University Archives Reading Room is closed to researchers until further notice. During this time, we will continue to provide email and telephone reference support though responses may be delayed. If you have any questions, please contact us.


On March 16, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an Executive Order temporarily closing many public spaces. All academic libraries are included in this order. The Main Library is closed, but we still offer virtual services and many resources do remain available. Please see our Online and Distance Learning resource page for specific Library resources. Reference services are still available via chat and phone. We do have temporary policies for returning/renewing material.

Electronic Records Management

Many of Michigan State University’s official business and historical records are now created in digital form. The University Archives’ collections include born-digital electronic records and in some cases digitized (scanned) copies of paper, audio, and video originals. These records of permanent historical value need to be transferred to the University Archives.

Examples of electronic records that fall under the Archives’ collecting policy include:

  • Official memos and correspondence, including email. We offer a guide for Electronic Mail Records (pdf)
  • Annual reports
  • Policy and procedure statements
  • Speeches and presentations
  • Meeting minutes and agendas
  • Course syllabi and curricula
  • Digital photographs (see below)
  • MSU publications
  • Recorded performances and events
  • Research data
  • Faculty papers

Whether “born digital”—that is, created by a computer, such as a Microsoft Word file—or digitized, consider transferring these electronic records to UAHC.

Acceptable file formats

File Type File Formats
Digital images and photographs TIFF, JPG, JP2, PCT, PNG, PSD, BMP, GIF, TGA, AI, EPS, SVG
Spreadsheet files XLS, XLSX
Web records HTML
E-mail, including attachments PST, MSG
Audio files WAV, AIFF, MP3, WMA, AC3
Video files* AVI**, MOV**, MPEG-4, WMV, FLV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, SWF
Presentation files PPT, PPTX

*Recommended codecs are: mpeg2, mpeg4, dv, mjpeg2000

** Preferred

Digital Photos: What Are Good Candidates?

What is a good photo to send to the archives for permanent preservation? Some criteria to consider are:

  • Campus Scenes
  • Events (colleges, departments, organizations, etc.)
  • People (Students, Faculty, Staff)
  • Campus and its Buildings (Interior and Exterior)

Select the ones that best capture the content. Eliminate multiple copies of the same shot.