The University Archives and Special Collections serves both the Loyola University Chicago community and researchers from the general public. This includes undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff, visiting scholars, professional researchers, and members of the general public. All patrons wishing to use the collections at the University Archives must make an appointment with staff, have appropriate identification, and fill out a researcher's registration form. Patrons must abide by the University Archives reading room rules and the Loyola University Chicago libraries' access policy. All materials in the department are non-circulating. Access to restricted materials may be permitted if written permission is secured by the patron from the donor or his/her designated representative (where possible) and with the approval of the University Archivist. Access to unprocessed materials may be granted by the University Archivist if the collection is of a manageable size (6 boxes/6 linear feet or less).
Collections may be acquired for the University Archives and Special Collections via record transfer, gift, or bequest. It is not the policy of the archives to purchase items although exceptions may be made on a case by case basis, for example the purchase of photographs or similar items from an antiques dealer. The acquisition process for any item or collection is guided by the following criteria:
- Relevance to the mission of the University Archives and Special Collections
- Size and condition of the collection/item
- Ability of the University Archives and Special Collections to process, store, and preserve it
University records are transferred to the archives according to the official University records retention policy. Departments can request individual retention schedules to be designed specifically for their offices by the University Archives. Donation inquiries of ancillary records and manuscript collections ar reviewed individually based on the following criteria:
- Value of the collection/item
- Relevance to established collections
- Impact accepting the collection/item would have on organizational resources
- Legal ownership of the collection/item
- Ability of the University Archives to process, store, and preserve it
The University Archives serves as the institutional memory of Loyola University Chicago. As such, its primary mission is to collect, preserve, organize, describe, and make available institutional records of enduring historical, legal, fiscal, and administrative value. The University Archives collects ancillary records of the Loyola community that help promote knowledge and understanding of the origins, programs, and goals of the University. The papers and records of individuals and organizations not directly connected to Loyola University Chicago are also collected should the subject matter be relevant to the established manuscript collections at the Archives.
As the institutional memory of Loyola University Chicago, the University Archives receives records from all University departments according to the established records retention schedule. At times these records can contain confidential information. Since its creation the University Archives has taken its responsibility to safe guard such information seriously and has developed the procedures according to professional archival standards as well as state privacy laws and federal laws such as FERPA and HIPPAA.
The University Archives and Special Collections staff provides reference assistance for members of the Loyola community as well as researchers from the general public. Inquiries are welcome via email, letter, telephone, or in-person. Researchers planning a visit to the archives are strongly advised to make an appointment in order to insure staff availability.
Due to limited staff, reference inquires received from members of the general public will be researched for up to 1 hour only. Researchers will then be provided with the information discovered during this time. If further information is required, the researcher will be advised to make an appointment for an in-person visit or, if a visit is not possible, to hire a local researcher who can visit the archives to conduct the necessary research.