About the Holy Family University Archives

Holy Family University Archives was established in accord with the mission, goals, and objectives of the university to provide administrative support and information services to members of the university community and others interested in the history and development of Holy Family University. It was founded in 1973 and chartered by the Board of Directors in 1991.

Our Mission

The University Archives collects, preserves, manages, and makes available for research and reference use those official university records and those ancillary records of the university community of sufficient historical, legal, and/or administrative value to warrant permanent preservation. “Official” university records include any and all documentation in any form produced or received by any employee of Holy Family University while engaged in the conduct of official university business. “University community” includes individual and collective members of the faculty, staff, administration, student body, and alumni of the university, as well as other individuals and organizations whose activities have relevance for the university.

The University Archives provides adequate facilities for the retention and preservation of the university’s official records. In addition, it facilitates efficient records management to assure that permanently valuable records are processed and maintained according to archival standards. In collecting these materials, the University Archives undertakes to recognize and honor matters of privilege and confidentiality.

The University Archives promotes knowledge and understanding of the origins, aims, programs, and goals of the university and of the development of these. It provides information services that will assist the operation of the university; in addition, it serves research and scholarship by making available and encouraging use of its collection.

The University Archives staff serve the entire university community, targeting especially administration, academic affairs, student services, institutional advancement, and human resources, as well as faculty and students. It also serves individuals outside the university, particularly research scholars, who have an interest in Holy Family’s history or need access to its special collections.


Total Volume: approximately 200 cu. ft.
Inclusive dates: 1954 to the present

Holdings document the history of Holy Family University, founded by the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in Torresdale, Philadelphia, in 1954. University records exist in a variety of formats and are arranged in record groups associated with the office that created them. There are also collections of faculty and administration papers and other scholarly works (published as well as unpublished). In addition to records and collections associated with Holy Family, there are special collections documenting Pennsylvania's history and the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth.

Hours and Location

Holy Family University Archives is open to the public:
Monday-Thursday 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
and by special appointment outside these hours.

These hours are subject to change pending the availability of the Archivist. We encourage researchers to call in advance to discuss research needs and to schedule an appointment.

The University Archives is located on the upper level of the University Library on the Northeast Philadelphia Campus. It includes two rooms. One, the Archives Room, serves as a work room for staff and a reading room for researchers. Many of Holy Family’s past and current publications are available to researchers there. The other - the closed stacks - is a secure room in which all University records are maintained. Only staff have access to the closed stacks.


Answer telephone and e-mail questions
Conduct brief searches
Examine and evaulate inactive records in University offices
Arrange transfer of inactive records to the University Archives
Copy documents and digitize images in small quantities


The University community and any person with a legitimate research interest may use the Archives.

Intern Opportunities

Holy Family students can gain financial aid plus work experience in the Archives through the Federal Work-Study Program (FWS). Contact the Financial Aid Office at 215-637-5538 or visit the Financial Aid Web page for information and forms.

Students interested in combining work experience in the Archives with their academic concentration should consider an internship. The intern will learn basic archival theory and practice regarding records and photograph management and gain experience in preservation, cataloging, filing, description, and exhibition methods. The Archives can accommodate flexible daytime work arrangements and offers the convenience of working on campus.

Internships are available through the Experiential Learning Office. For more information please contact the Director of Experiential Learning: Angela Cutchineal, MS at acutchineal@holyfamily.edu or visit the Experiential Learning Web page.