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Access Policy
The University Archivist has been designated to serve as the official custodian of Villanova University records, which are housed in the University Archives.

The records of Villanova University will be made available in accordance with rules and regulations of the University Archives. The University is guided in its policy by relevant Federal and State laws. University policies regarding its records are implicitly incorporated in this access policy.

All administrative files prepared by administrators, faculty and staff are the property of Villanova University. Issuing offices reserve the right to determine which files will be made available for general use. Villanova University owns the literary copyright to all administrative material generated by individuals in the course of their employment with the University.

In collecting these materials, the University Archives recognize and honor matters of privilege and confidentiality. Access to records in the University Archives is limited. While some records are open for research use, access to other records is restricted to the office of origin. Confidentiality is a prime consideration for some types of records and the University Archivist will strictly enforce any restrictions.

Records transferred to the Archives by any office of origin may be classified under one of the following by joint agreement between the office of origin and the University Archivist

  • Open -- access controlled only by the physical condition of the records.
  • Restricted -- access limited to specific group of people (the office of origin, the staff of the University Archives, and officers of the University.)
  • Closed -- access prohibited for a specific length of time.

All records required by law to be maintained or publicly available at their inception will be made available at the University Archives immediately. All other institutional records normally remain closed for a period of 20 years from the date of their creation (the date on which each document was written) unless the office of origin has designated a shorter period. The opening date for files spanning several years will be 20 years from the most recent. Access will be given to material already 20 years old contained within a collection that is not yet open when such materials can be isolated from the rest of the collection. The Board of Trustees committee minutes and records are restricted for 35 years. Some other records of the University may be restricted for 35 years. Some other records of the University may be restricted for more than 20 years as determined by the office of origin and the University Archivist.

During this restricted period, the records will be available only to the President's office, the office of origin, the staff of the University Archives and officers of the University, or by court order as necessary. Consideration for access by others will be given when a written request is presented to the University Archivist, who in turn will deliberate with the office of origin and other appropriate University officials. Sufficient information as to the intended uses of the records must be presented as part of this consideration. The University Archivist may impose whatever conditions on the use of the records as deemed necessary to preserve the confidentiality of the information contained in such records.

This access policy will not impinge upon the normal administrative uses of University records.