Mission and Vision

Mission Statement

The University Archives exist to preserve and make accessible the official historical records of AdventHealth University.

Vision Statement

Our future depends in part on our ability to remember our past, to learn from it, and to build on it. Without the tangible records of the past, history can be quickly forgotten. In keeping with the University’s four vision words—Nurture, Excellence, Spirituality, and Stewardship-- the University Archives preserve the tangible records of the University’s history and make the records available to the University community so we do not forget the past.


Providing members of the AHU community access to the University’s history will give them the opportunity to understand the foundation on which their current experience is built. This contributes to their personal and professional development.


History is an important aspect of academic excellence. The University can use its history to demonstrate its constant commitment to high quality education, to build on its accomplishments, and to learn from its failures.


As a Christian institution, AHU believes that God is directing our actions. But His leading is not always clear in the moment. A complete and accurate historical record allows us to look back at how God has led us in the past so we can thank him for his guidance and strengthen our faith during present trouble.


Caring for the University’s historical records is an integral part of stewardship. Preserving our records demonstrates good stewardship of what we have created, and the resulting archives provide a source of information for evaluating how we have used our resources.


The R. A. Williams Library shall house and maintain the University Archives. Direct responsibility for organizing the collections and providing access to the University Archives rests with the head of special collections and archives.

Collection Development Guidelines

The archives collects items based on three primary criteria:

  • Significance to the University
  • Rarity
  • Need for access

The general rule for applying these criteria is that materials of significance to the University are added to the archives if they are rare (meaning not being collected by other archives) or if there exists a need for ready access. The archives collects materials in a variety of formats, including, but not limited to:

  • Print
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Electronic
  • Models
  • Charts

Where practical, the University Archives retains the materials in the original format. Materials may also be duplicated in another format to facilitate access. However, the primary concern is long-term preservation.

The University Archives collects anything of significance to University history that fits the selection criteria given above, including University publications; committee minutes; faculty documents such as portfolios, course syllabi, and scholarly works; and departmental documents.

The heads of individual departments identify documents and submit them to the library for inclusion in the University Archives. If a department keeps its own archive of materials, duplicates of the materials need not be submitted to the library, though the department head can do so. But if the department decides to no longer keep materials in its archive, those materials should be submitted to the library rather than discarded.


In general, the contents of the University Archives are open to faculty, staff, and students of the University, and outside researchers. However, some materials in the archives may have restricted access. The contents of the University Archives fall into three categories of access.

Open Access

Records in this category are open to researchers without restriction. Open access records include publications issued to the general public at the time of their creation, such as announcements, official college publications, calendars, and brochures. Open access records will be identified as such.

Files Containing Personal Information

Records that contain personal and confidential information about an individual or individuals are closed for 75 years from date of creation or until the death of the individual mentioned in the records. During the restricted period, the University Archives may grant access if the named individual gives permission in writing. After the restricted period has elapsed, researchers may apply to the head of the University Archives for access to these materials. Information that is part of the public record about an individual is available for research.

University Records

Records of the administration of the University are restricted to use by the originating department for 25 years from creation. Officers of the University or administrators of the originating departments may waive this time period at their discretion. After the restricted period has elapsed, the records are added to the open access collection.

Additional Restrictions on Access

Some records have additional restrictions to access. Records of the board of trustees may be consulted only with the written authorization of the President of the University or the chair of the board.

Access to particular documents may be restricted if access constitutes an invasion of privacy or opens the University to legal liability.

The University President may also seal records when it is in the best interest of the University. Sealed records may be opened only with the written authorization of the President or the chair of the board.

Access to the materials in the University Archives entitles individuals to view the materials. If an individual wishes to publish all or part of document, he or she must receive permission from the administration of the University.

Digitization Policies and Procedures

Objective: Preserve and make accessible the official historical records of AdventHealth University, by digitization and presentation via an asset management program.

Scope: The history of AdventHealth University began in 1908 with the opening of the Florida Sanitarium, near the campus of AdventHealth University, in Orlando, Florida. From the beginning, educational training programs existed in conjunction with the hospital. Archival materials are divided into the following collections that correspond to the name of the educational institutions predating AdventHealth University.

The four eras of institutional names are:

  • Sanitarium (1908 – 1992)
  • Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences (1992 – 2012)
  • Adventist University of Health Sciences (2012 – 2018)
  • AdventHealth University (2019 – present)

The scope also includes special collections and internal documents.

Policies and Procedures

  • Scanning will be performed by librarians and trained library staff.
  • Staff in other departments may be trained to import digitized photos into the library’s digital asset management system and describe these digital materials in keeping with library standards.
  • Materials may be scanned by request, to be included in the digital archives. It must first be determined if the materials fall into the scope of our archives according to era or by special collection.
  • Scanners are for library use only, with their main purpose being to scan and digitize materials for our digital archives.

Digitization Standards for Photographs

  • Photographs will be scanned at 600 dpi in TIFF format for preservation and a copy will also be saved in JPEG format (300 dpi) for presentation. Other presentation copies in appropriate formats and resolution will be created from the preservation copy as needed.
  • Minimum description (using the Dublin Core Metadata standard): Title, creator [if known], photo description, approximate date, known rights, and era.

Digitization Standards for text

  • Text will be scanned and saved at 300 dpi as a PDF/A document.
  • Minimum description (using the Dublin Core Metadata standard): Title, creator [if known], Description, Publisher [if applicable], approximate date, known rights, and era.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

  • OCR will be applied to text documents at the point of creation, or later as appropriate. OCR status will be noted in the record as part of the description.

Materials Use

  • Rights to photos: Known rights information will be included in metadata in digital assets management system.
  • Use of photos: Reproduction and use of photos is subject to copyright and rights of publicity and privacy. Request for reproductions or use of photos owned by AdventHealth University should be made to office of alumni. Use of photos for commercial purposes may require permission from the individuals appearing in the photos.