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ROAR: Repairing Our Archival Record

Information on ROAR (Repairing Our Archival Record) the University Archives's community archives initiative

Student Organizations

Students are the heart of CMU and the records your student organizations create are part of CMU's history. Preserving your records will leave future Tartans with a glimpse of what campus life was like socially, culturally, and politically at CMU in 2021.

Work with an Archivist

Want to learn how to ensure your student organization's history is preserved for future members of your community? We're here to help!

Contact the Processing Archivist for Community Collections to learn more about:

  • Documenting and organizing your organization's history.
  • Transferring your archival materials to the University Archive.
  • Digitizing your archival materials to increase accessibility.


How to Get Involved

Intercollegiate Cosmopolitan Club, 1924

Intercollegiate Cosmopolitan Club, 1924


There are several ways you can work with the University Archives to ensure that your experiences and contributions to CMU are preserved for future Tartans. 

1. Donate your records (aka stuff) to the University Archives. We accept both digital and analog (paper) formats. When you donate your records, you will be asked to sign a donation form, we call it a "deed of gift". The deed of gift will transfer the ownership of your records to the University Archives. Before the records are made publicly available they will be organized, described and added to the ROAR student life collection. Not ready to part with your mementos? We'd be happy to take digital copies and can advise you on how to digitize your materials following archival best standards. 

2. Share your story. Have a story related to your experience at CMU? We'd love to add it to the Archives. We will be hosting a story slam event in the Fall of 2022. In the meantime you can arrange to record your story with an Archivist, submit your own recording, or send us a written narrative. What types of stories are we looking for? Anything related to the CMU experience. Examples - First impressions of campus as a first-gen student; finding your community or sense of belonging; how membership in your student organization has impacted your CMU experience.

3. Let us archive your website and/or social media accounts. We can save archival copies of your website or social media content. This can be a one time thing, or periodic crawls. Since we would be capturing public content, we would only need your verbal/written consent and would not require a formal transfer of ownership.

4. Learn how to preserve and organize your own records. Learn the skills necessary to preserve your records on your own so that you can maintain your records in your community, or prepare for a future donation to an archive. We can share tips and give demos on paper or digital preservation. Even if you don't end up donating to the Archives you can ensure that your records will be usable for future community members.

Contact the Community Collection Processing Archivist at to get involved.

Tips for Student Organizations

Tips for preserving your organization's history

  • Take photographs of your meetings, events, and community members.
  • Save materials which document your organization's history, traditions, community engagement, and activism.
  • Store your materials together in a safe place protected from heat, water, and pests.
  • Consider electing a "secretary" or "historian" to be the record-keeper of your student organization. The individual in the role could be responsible for documenting and collecting materials, passing down knowledge and best practices to new members. They could also serve as the point of contact with the University Archives.
  • Develop a straightforward filing system for both your physical and digital materials. (We can help you!)
  • Document your organization's participation in campus traditions and events like:
    • The Fence
    • Buggy
    • The Fair
    • Spring Carnival

Preservation Tips