Mandate & Policies


  • The St. Francis Xavier University Archives is institutional and private.
  • The University Archives is the central repository for the collecting, arranging, describing, and preserving of material which documents the history of St. Francis Xavier University and its chancellor, faculty, staff, and alumni.


1. General policies.

1.1 Definitions:

1.1.1 Closed material is that which is unavailable for public viewing.

1.1.2 Open material is available for public viewing.

1.2 Policies:

1.2.1 The University Archivist and/or the University Archives and Records Management Committee (UARMC) has the option of transferring material donated to the University Archives to other, more appropriate, archives if the material falls outside the mandate of, or cannot be utilized, by the University Archives.

1.2.2 Material donated to the University Archives will become the exclusive and absolute property of the University Archives.

1.2.3 When material is deemed open for any researcher, it shall be deemed open to any member of the public and equal viewing access will be provided.

1.2.4 Published material and photographs are open. Other media not dealing with confidential matters are considered open to research use.

1.2.5 It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright permission to copy or publish any material.

1.2.6 The University Archivist and/or archives staff will spend no more than one (1) hour of research time on each request for information from outside the University. If the request takes more than one hour of staff time, the University Archivist will provide the requester with a list of names of individuals who will conduct research for a fee.

1.2.7 Photocopying and photograph reproduction will be charged on a cost recovery basis.

2. University Corporate Record Policies.

2.1 Definitions:

2.1.1 Corporate records include both administrative and operational records. Corporate records are defined as those records regardless of medium that are created, received, or accumulated by University officials, offices, and the various governing bodies of the University. They pertain to the operations, functions, policies, procedures, decisions, structure, activities, organization, and history of the University. They include personnel records, student records, and other records. Corporate records are the sole property of the University. Staff leaving the University or relinquishing office must leave all corporate records for their successors. Corporate records do not include records produced in a private capacity.

2.1.2 Personnel records are corporate records that record information regardless of medium regarding the hiring, discipline, remuneration, and/or evaluation of an employee, or former employee, of the University.

2.1.3 Student records are corporate records that record information regardless of medium regarding students and/or former students of the University. A student of the University is defined as a person registered in one or more credit or non-credit courses at the University.

2.1.4 Quasi-corporate records are records regardless of medium created, received, or accumulated by University officials, offices, and the various governing bodies or groups of the University that do not pertain to the functions, policies, or operations of the University. They usually are the records of sponsored groups, clubs, associations, students, alumni, staff and faculty groups, editorial boards, societies, institutes, and organizations which relate to some aspect of University life, programs and schedules of University events.

2.1.5 Sensitive corporate and quasi-corporate records are those that are protected and tightly controlled in order to adequately perform confidential administrative, financial, and legal duties; research activities; and provide continuity of policies, actions, and the organization and procedural patterns for the sound administration of the University. Release of information from these records may cause detriment or harm to the University or individuals mentioned in the records.

2.2 Policies:

2.2.1 The confidential character of University corporate records requires that these not be made available to the public for a minimum of twenty-five (25) years from the date of creation of the record.

2.2.2 As a minimum, personnel records shall be closed for eighty-five (85) years from the date of commencement of employment or twenty-five (25) years after death; whichever comes first.

2.2.3 As a minimum, student records shall be closed for eighty-five (85) years from initial registration or earliest determined record of entry, or twenty-five (25) years after death; whichever comes first.

2.2.4 Closure on quasi-corporate records will be the same as on corporate records unless otherwise stated, and will be determined by the donor at the time of donation, but will not be subject to longer closure than corporate records.

2.2.5 The University Archivist has the authority to impose longer closure on sensitive corporate and quasi-corporate records. Appeals can be made to the President. The UARMC will act as an advisor to the President on appeals. If longer closure is imposed, a reason for this decision will be provided.

2.2.6 Current administrative officers will be granted access to records created by former holders of the office with the written approval of the current senior administrative officer. For the purposes of this document, for corporate records, the senior administrative officer is defined as one who is either a president, vice president, or reports directly to the same.

2.2.7 For quasi-corporate records, a senior administrative officer is defined as the current president, or equivalent, of the organization.

2.2.8 Corporate and quasi-corporate records may be removed from the University Archives but only with the approval of the University Archivist and for a specific period of time; these records must remain on the University property.

3. Personal Paper Policies.

3.1 Definitions:

3.1.1 Personal papers are defined as those records regardless of medium that record information regarding the personal activities of an individual. They do not record the activities and/or decisions undertaken while performing University duties, functions, or activities but those which are distinct and separate from University business. Personal papers are usually those of faculty, staff, and alumni.

3.2 Policies:

3.2.1 The University Archivist will obtain the signature of the donor on a "donor agreement" before accepting personal papers. The donor agreement will specify access restrictions, closure time, record copying, and copyright holder.

3.2.2 The University Archivist and/or the UARMC retain the right to refuse material if it is deemed the restriction requests are too stringent or too lenient. Normally, access restrictions for personal papers will not exceed those of University corporate records.

3.2.3 Material in personal papers pertaining to the University will be administered under the same rules as the University corporate records. The University Archivist will deem what material is sensitive, hence subject to longer closure, and appeals can be made to the President in an unusual or difficult situation.

3.2.4 Personal papers may not be removed from the University Archives.

Approved by Library Committee - June 24, 1996

For more information, contact:
Kathleen MacKenzie, Archivist,
Phone: (902) 867-2201
Fax: (902) 867-5153