HFU Archives

University Archives

Holy Family University Archives, located in the Library on the Northeast Philadelphia Campus, 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.

Spanning more than 50 years, our collections cover the entirety of the University’s history. Researchers can explore it using records in a variety of genre and forms including, but not limited to, original letters and documents, photographs, publications, scrapbooks, and electronic media. Some of our collection highlights are the physical campus and grounds; faculty, student, alumni, and family and friends organizations; student life from its pioneer years; faculty scholarship; the numerous offices and departments that support daily operations; milestone events and ongoing traditions; the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth; and a wide range of individuals associated with the university. Contact us at 267-341-3414.

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.

  • Some of Our Holdings Include:
    • University Records
    • Publications
    • Photographs
    • Architectural Drawings
    • Audio Visual Materials
    • Personal Papers
    • Special Collections
  • Some of Our Activities Include:
    • Managing University Records
    • Arranging, Describing, and Preserving
    • Collections
    • Defining Metadata for Collections
    • Reproducing Records
    • Providing Reference and Research Services

Hours and Location

Holy Family University Archives is open to the public:

Monday-Thursday 9:00 am - 3:00 p.m. 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 evaluate 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.