Welcome to the Archive and Special Collections!

The University Archive is the repository for a broad range of materials, including official records, printed publications, photographs, and memorabilia, documenting the history and present activities of the university. The archive serves as the “collective memory” for the institution. Like a museum, the material found in archives is rare or unique and is not available to be checked out. Therefore, although the information is available to the university community, access to the material is limited.

The Mission of the Archives and Special Collections is to acquire, preserve, and provide public access to materials documenting the history of Franciscan University.

Where is it?
Where is the Archive and Special Collection?

The Archive and Special Collections room is located on the first floor of the Saint John Paul II Library. The archive is available to all Franciscan students, staff, and faculty, as well as the general public for research and information. The material in the archive is available by appointment only. Please contact a librarian for a consultation regarding the materials you wish to research. Requests should be made at least one day in advance so that arrangements can be made to pull your items and have them ready. In some cases, it may take longer to pull the materials; we ask for your understanding. Due to the uniqueness and fragility of some of the items, they are not circulating and can not leave the building.

The Archives adheres to all provisions of the U.S. Copyright Law (17 U.S.C.) It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any or all copyright permissions.

What's the Difference?
What's the difference between an archive and a special collection?

Typically, in an academic setting you will find archives and special collections housed together in one area. This can be understandably confusing.

An archive is a collection of documents, publications, ephemera, and other items that are unique and historical. These items are evidential and provide history and proof of an event, organization, or person, in our case, Franciscan University.

A special collection is a collection of books, rare or antique books, manuscripts, and other items that do not necessarily pertain to the history of the university, but have a unique value to research and scholarship. Special collections in academic library often reflect the primary focus of the university.

Most items in an archive and/or special collection are considered a primary source. There are times when an item in the collections are not a primary source. For instance, a book collected by a prominent member of the university but written by someone else is NOT a primary source. However, an inscription written inside the same book IS a primary source, therefore if the inscription is used in the research, the inscription listed inside the book must be cited NOT the book.

For more help with this see Primary Sources.