Each archive has a clearly defined responsibility, i.e. it is assigned various document-producing offices that must offer the documents they have produced, which they no longer require for the fulfilment of their current official duties, to the archive. The archive then decides whether these so-called archive-ready documents (written, visual and audio material) are also worthy of archiving and then accepts the documents which, in the opinion of the responsible archivists, are worthy of archiving.

The University Archives is responsible for documents of lasting value that have been created by the academic self-administration and the university administration as well as by all institutions in the central area and in the faculties of the university or such scientific institutions that are affiliated to the university.

The statutes of the University Archives and the segregation regulations stipulate that the aforementioned institutions and bodies must offer their archive-ready documents to the University Archives. The archive examines the documents offered and then selects those that it considers to be worthy of archiving. This evaluation is one of the most important and at the same time most difficult tasks of archivists, as only a fraction of the records can be stored permanently due to lack of space.

At the same time, the archivists should create as open a preservation situation as possible, but without knowing what questions will be asked of the archived documents by researchers in a few years or decades. One way out of this dilemma is a procedure that attempts to select for archiving primarily those records that are best suited to documenting the fulfilment of tasks characteristic of the University of Augsburg. Accordingly, files from the university management on the planning of a new degree programme, for example, are naturally more worthy of archiving than the canteen's meal plans.

However, the quasi-organic growth through donations from the university's various departments only accounts for some of the holdings. Almost every archive also has more or less extensive so-called collection material. As the name suggests, these documents are actively collected. The background to this collection is the fact that the documents provided by the administrative offices alone are not always sufficient to create as realistic a picture as possible of events at the university and in its immediate environment. Accordingly, archivists collect those records which they consider suitable for documenting the processes and events, knowledge of which could also be of importance for later generations.

 These include the estates of important members of the academic and academic support staff who worked at the University of Augsburg and played a significant role in shaping it, as well as posters and flyers, photos, press cuttings and much more.

The documents taken over and collected by the University Archive are organised into collections according to the provenance principle, i.e. while preserving the contexts of origin, and indexed with the help of a so-called archive information system. The result of the cataloguing is an ever-growing database, which can be searched for specific search terms, and a printed finding aid for each collection. Both finding aids serve in particular to enable archive users to quickly and accurately access the archive records relevant to their enquiry.