Donald B. Watt
About The Archives
Vision and Mission
The vision of the World Learning Institutional Archives is to preserve the past for the future by preserving items that reflect its history, development, and evolution. Its mission is to collect, preserve, protect, organize, describe, and provide access to the institution’s historical records, documents, visual and aural materials, and other items.
The Archives is committed to serving faculty, staff, students, and departments within the institution, as well as external individuals such as historians, researchers, educators, journalists, and others with an interest in the history of the institution, its educational practices, or other aspects of use to them. The World Learning Institutional Archives also collaborates with individuals in related professions, such as records managers, librarians, and town clerks, to promote sharing of information among the larger community of information professionals.
The areas that the Archives serves and supports include, but are not limited to:
- Practices and lessons learned
Overview and History
The World Learning Institutional Archives, located in Winner on the campus of SIT Graduate Institute, form part of the Donald B. Watt Library. The Archives themselves, however, is managed by a chair who oversees a committee of volunteers and which receives guidance from an ad hoc group of archivists from neighboring institutions and local historical societies in Windham County, Vermont. Given the occasion of World Learning’s 80th Anniversary, the Archives has an especially important role to play.
The value of establishing and maintaining institutional archives was recognized early on in the life of the institution. As early as 1955, founder Donald B. Watt proposed the consolidation of institutional records in a single location (then, the Red House on the Putney campus). Various ideas were contributed as to what should be maintained, emphasizing the need for a secure location. An archivist was then hired who established the original collection covering the period 1932–1941, later extended into 1967.
In 1967, Dr. John A. Wallace, SIT Founder and President, ordered the purchase of microfilm equipment so that materials could be converted into this new format. Archival activity then lapsed and stored materials were dispersed in various locations.
In Fall 2003, retiring faculty member, Dr. Alvino E. Fantini, sent a proposal to resurrect and reestablish the Institutional Archives. Approval was granted in May 2004 and retiring librarian Shirley Capron assisted with the effort. With the full support of President Adam Weinberg, an archival task force was established consisting mostly of retired employees. Now known as the Archives Committee, its work continues to the present, culminating in the present collections.