URSA Collection Development Policy

Just like a physical library, a repository cannot contain all content that is available. We wish to concentrate on items that capture, preserve, and communicate the diversity of intellectual output of Mercer University and those that support its mission.


  • Materials must support the overall mission of Mercer University: "to teach, to learn, to create, to discover, to inspire, to empower, and to serve."
  • Current priorities include:
    • Materials that showcase the intellectual output of Mercer University.
    • Materials that illustrate the rich history of Mercer University.
    • Materials that highlight the history of Baptist life in Georgia.

Selection Criteria

Materials will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Value. Items that are deemed to be historically significant and intellectually valuable will be given higher priority for digitization.
  • Uniqueness. Items that are not otherwise available online will be given high priority for digitization.
  • Copyright. Only items that are either in the public domain or for which written permissions have been obtained from copyright holders will be included in URSA.
  • Accessibility. Items that are not otherwise accessible to patrons due to physical deterioration or digital format obsolescence will be given greater priority.
  • Diversity. Items that represent unique, diverse perspectives will be prioritized for digitization.
  • Metadata. Only items with sufficient information available for the creation of descriptive metadata, such as who created the work and its provenance (origin), may be included.
  • Technical and physical feasibility. Items that can be digitized without damaging the original and with techniques that are currently supported at the Mercer University Archives will be prioritized.
  • Resource requirements. The human and financial cost of a project will be considered when prioritizing URSA additions.


Items may be restricted by the donor in the following ways:

  1. There are no restrictions.
  2. Items can be only viewed on campus.
  3. Items can be only viewed by Mercer affiliates, as identified by a current Mercer login.
  4. Items have an embargo period during which only the metadata is visible. After the embargo period, access to the digital object(s) will be granted.