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The term Archives when used in relation to documents and records refers to records created or received by an organization during the conduct of business, and provide historical, legal, and administrative evidence of the institution. These records are preserved because of the enduring value contained in the information and the evidence of the responsibilities of the creator. The term manuscripts originally referred to handwritten items, but like archives now is often used when referring to the papers of an individual or family. Collections are items grouped by a common subject, format, or some other method. These terms are often used interchangeably, however.
Special Collections are groups or specific repositories that store materials of a special nature, including rare books, archives, and collected manuscripts. BYU-Idaho's Special Collections & Archives collects archival material by and about the history of the school, manuscript material about the local area, and unique items that fit a certain collecting scope.
Bannock Stake Academy started in 1888 with 59 students and Jacob Spori as principal. In the early 1900s, the library consisted of 1296 square feet on the second floor of the Academy Building (early iteration of the current-day Spori building) between two classrooms. With three large windows and 375 bound volumes, the library served students and faculty. In 1964 the present-day David O. McKay Library was completed and has since been remodeled.
Special Collections and the genealogy library were originally grouped together in the McKay Library, but have since been separated with the Family History Center receiving its own space within the Library. Special Collections & Archives now has a number of collections on campus and local history as well as artifacts used in campus curriculum.