Policies & Procedures
The Office of Special and Archival Collections of Providence College serves as an information center for our institutional history. It exists to serve not only as a repository but also as a reference source for information relating to the College's formation and growth.
We solicit retired files, with the exception of financial records, from College officers, departments, committees and student organizations as well as all publications, directives, and reports germane to the needs of researchers. Ephemera contributing to an understanding of College events and non-written materials, such as photos and recordings, are also welcomed.
The Office came into being as a result of the donation of the papers of Congressman John E. Fogarty, a collection totaling approximately one-half million pieces rich with insight into the development of our nation and our state.
Some of our holdings reflect an emphasis on immigrants and minority groups who have contributed to the state's development. However, our program is oriented towards acquiring primary source material of individuals and organizations playing a leading role in the political, legal, and cultural history of our state and region during the nineteenth and especially the twentieth centuries.
An archival collection is a repository for important documents and/or memorabilia, usually pertaining to historical figures, organizations or events. Such material provides scholars with the primary sources needed to construct an objective historical account. Patrons of our collections include members of all levels of this and other academic communities - administration, faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and alumni - as well as other interested researchers.
Researchers are invited to use the Providence College Special and Archival Collections by signing in and filling out a short Research Form identifying themselves and the materials they are requesting.
We are able to answer requests for information on various collections, but because of limited staffing, we do not provide detailed or long distance reference research on entire collections. Researchers are advised to consult with the staff on using the appropriate finding aids.
The desire to maintain the historical integrity, order and value of our College and manuscript holdings is a basic consideration. Therefore, requests to copy large portions of a collection are discouraged.
The Committee on College Special and Archival Collections, with the approval of the Committee on Administration, has established four (4) classes of material to provide access for proper historical inquiry while safeguarding the right of the donor (individual, organization, College official/department) to stipulate restrictions on access. Groups of documents or individual pieces may be:
SEALED--Materials are completely unavailable, even for processing, for a specified number of years.
CLOSED--Documents are processed but available only to scholars having written permission from the donor.
RESTRICTED--Records are generally available for research, but users must obtain permission from the donor before citing or quoting for publication.
OPEN--Access is controlled only by the physical condition of the records and by scholarly courtesy.
Please bear in mind that certain collections may have donor restriction and may not be available, nor may archival or manuscript materials be removed from the Reading Room area or borrowed from the collections.
Photocopying may be permitted in accordance with the College's copyright polices and at the discretion of the College's Librarian for Special and Archival Collections. All photocopying is performed by the staff.
Care must be exercised at all times when handling materials. Consuming food or beverages, smoking, and the use of pens are not permitted while using materials.