Archives Policies

Collection Development Policy


The Mercyhurst University Archives at the Sister Mary Lawrence Franklin Archival Center serves as the institutional memory of Mercyhurst University. The Archives primarily consist of materials of enduring value created by or about Mercyhurst University, the Mercyhurst Community, and the Sisters of Mercy involved in the University. The Archives collect, manage, preserve, and provide access to material related to management, administration, staff, faculty, and students.

Collection Scope

  1. Background

    When the Sister Mary Lawrence Franklin Archival Center was founded in 1970, its mission was dedicated to both Mercyhurst history and local Erie County history. The collection scope was reevaluated in 1995 and changed to focus primarily on institutional history. Since then, the majority of local history collections have been transferred to more appropriate institutions.

  2. General Collecting Focus

    The University Archives collects material relating to the history and culture of Mercyhurst University that has long-term administrative, legal, fiscal, or historical value as determined by the archivist. The majority of records are generated by University administrative units, faculty, alumni, and student organizations. The University Archives also contains Hammermill Library’s rare book collection.

  3. Categories of Record Creators
    1. Administrative units
    2. Academic departments
    3. Mercyhurst University-affiliated organizations
    4. Faculty, staff, or students
  4. Types of Records Collected
    1. Governance and policy documents
    2. Administrative files
    3. University publications
    4. Student publications and theses
    5. Departmental proceedings
    6. Scrapbooks
    7. Photographs
    8. Faculty and alumni papers
    9. Faculty and alumni papers will be collected selectively based on their enduring value
      1. Examples: Resumes, correspondence, research files, and syllabi
    10. Architectural drawings
    11. Digital files or electronic records
    12. The University Archives will take custody of any of the born digital record types from the list above

Statement of Ownership

The University Archives will not accept ownership of material unless it fits within the Collection Policy, as determined by the Archivist. Once the Archives take possession and ownership of the material, the donor relinquishes all rights to the said material. The Archives may also determine that collections no longer fit within the Collection Policy and reserves the right to deaccession them over time.

Duplication Policy

The University Archives provide the best access possible to materials. To ensure that these materials remain available to researchers and to honor copyright restrictions, we have adopted the following policies for the duplication of materials:

  • All materials will be copied or scanned by a staff member. Materials do not circulate. The Special Collections librarian will determine the best means of duplication. We will decide if a document is too fragile/brittle to copy or scan, as well as if the material in which duplication might cause damage to the original. Additional charges may apply for oversize items.
  • Due to limited staffing, photocopies and scanning may not be available immediately. Copying and scanning will be done when staff is available. Copies and scans can then be picked up or sent by mail or email. The Special Collections and University Archives reserves the right to reject any request for scanning or copying in which we would place an undue burden on the resources and staff of the unit. The general limit for copying is 100 pages.
  • No copying or scanning will be done in violation of the copyright law or donor restrictions. We have placed a 30-page limit on copyrighted material.
    The Special Collections and University Archives will copy/scan documents and images from collections with the understanding that these materials are intended for use by the requester.
  • Duplication is not an authorization to publish. Your rights and obligations, with respect to reproducing copyrighted material, are governed by Title 17 of the United States Code. Researchers must be aware of copyright and assume full responsibility for clearing reproduction rights and for any infringement of copyright law. The Library will be held blameless for the infringement of copyright or publication rights by others due to deliberate or negligent misuse of the permission granted to examine or copy materials.
  • The use of personal cameras, scanners, or copy devices may be permitted depending upon feasibility and preservation considerations. Prior permission of the staff is required.
  • Any materials used in a publication or exhibition must use the following credit, "Courtesy of the Mercyhurst University Archives."