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Archives: Archives Policy

Guarini Center Full Title

Archives Policy

The general Collection Policy encompasses the following series of records of Saint Peter’s University: official records, papers and publications; certain categories of personal and professional papers of faculty and/or members of the Boards of Trustees or Regents; special collections relating to the history of the University, eminent alumni, and papers or records dealing with the history of the area as they relate to the development of the University.

Records restrictive in nature normally remain closed for a period of 20 years from the date of their creation. Records which span several years are closed for twenty years from the most recent date of the files. Exceptions: Board of Trustees minutes and records, 35 years; student and employee records are generally not made available during the student or employee’s lifetime without his or her written consent. The University may restrict access to other University records for more that 20 years if the office of origin, the University Archivist, or the President deems it appropriate to do so.  Conversely, the University may allow access to certain University records closed for less than 20 years if the office of origin or the President deems it appropriate to do so.

TRANSFER REQUIREMENTS: The University Archives accepts materials of archival/permanent value relating to the history and development of the University and individuals associated with it. Offices and Departments must request transfer of archival/permanent materials to the University Archives after complying with the Records Retention Schedule (Section IV [26] of the Saint Peter’s University Employee Handbook, revised and adopted July 24, 2014).  Records of temporary (disposable) value are non-archival and must be segregated from permanent records prior to transfer.  Materials proposed for transfer not in compliance with the Record Retention Schedule will not be reviewed.  The University Archives no longer accepts materials transferred in oversized (“bankers”) boxes (10″h x 15″ w x 24″ l), as these containers are too heavy to transport to the upper shelves of the units.  Materials may not be transferred to the University Archives without prior approval of the University Archivist.

Questions relating to this policy should be directed to Mary Kinahan-Ockay, University Archivist (ext. 6462;



This notice was created to inform patrons of the rules and regulations pertaing to the Saint Peter’s University Archives. Since many items housed in the University Archives are “one-of-a-kind” in nature, the records would be difficult, if not impossible, to replace if lost or damaged. Therefore, each of the precautions outlined below are deemed necessary in order to preserve and perpetuate the availability of these invaluable records for current and future researchers.

SUPERVISION: The University Archivist, staff member or student worker must be present when a researcher is using the University Archives.

APPOINTMENTS: In order to visit the University Archives, it is recommended that individuals call at least one day (two or more is desired) in advance to set-up an appointment. For general reference, it may be possible to visit the archives unannounced, but only when a member of the staff is on site. Appointments can be arranged by calling the University Archives directly at (201) 761-6462.

CHECK-IN & OUT: All patrons must sign the usage log upon entry and exit from the University Archives. This will provide a record of the materials used, and the date and duration of the visit.

FOOD AND DRINK: Prohibited.

PERSONAL ITEMS: Only research aides related to a visitor’s research project are permitted in the University Archives. A coat rack and allotted space for personal items are provided. Briefcases and bookbags may be subject to inspection upon leaving the University Archives.

INFORMATION REQUESTS & RETRIEVAL: A total of one record series (2 boxes maximum) may be requested by a patron at a single time. Only one folder may be inspected at a time, and original order must be preserved when refiling materials. A member of the archives staff will retrieve all requested item(s) as needed, and will collect them upon completion. Unless special approval is granted, the visitor is not allowed to randomly look through any of the files or boxes in the collection.

HANDLING ARCHIVAL MATERIAL: Archival material is NOT to be handled in the following ways: Writing-in, tracing, rubbing, or erasing print on archival documents. Folding, ripping, cutting, or altering records in any way. Placing rubber bands, paper clips, tape, “post-it” notes, or books upon archival items. Usage of pens (fountain, ball-point, felt-tipped), compasses, and magic markers are prohibited as well.  Pencils may be used to take notes.

WORK SPACE: Visitors are required to use the work desk (or some approved alternative) in the University Archives.

CIRCULATION: No articles may be removed from the University Archives. Only in the most limited of cases can materials be charged out, but such instances are subject to outlining intent, time limits, and insurance of return. Permission of the University Archivist is required before any item is removed from the collection.  A charge-out form is required, which includes the signatures of both the University Archivist and the responsible borrower.

PHOTOCOPYING: Can be done in the library under the supervision of a staff member. Photocopying machines are available on the first floor, and there is a fee of $0.10 per copy. Restrictions may apply in relation to copyright laws, fragile documents and/or protection of personal information (if the material is sensitive in nature).

PUBLICATION & BIBLIOGRAPHICAL CITATION: Approval from the University Archivist (and/or author and/or publisher where applicable) is needed before an individual may publish or refer to materials from the holdings of the University Archives. Those seeking permission to reprint will assume all responsibilities associated with privacy and copyright laws. Saint Peter’s University is not responsible for any adverse charges arising out of potential conflict with this arrangement. When anything from the University Archives is used in a work of this nature, the University Archives and the item in use must be cited in the footnote/endnote of the author’s finished text.