The Passionist Historical Archives St. Paul of the Cross Province Archival Policies Statement

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Following is our next segment of the Policy Statement for your information. (See the previous segment in the Winter 1994 edition of the newsletter.) A policy statement is the basic organizational tool of every archives. It defines the mission and objectives of the archives, the scope of its activities, the nature of its collections, the authority under which it operates and the services it provides to its clients. Our Policy Statement has been reviewed and approved by Very Rev. Fr. Provincial and therefore has the force of a Provincial directive

Morgan P. Hanlon, C.P.

IV Collecting Policy

  1. The Archives actively seeks appropriate material to add to its holdings. Some records are preserved because of their historic, financial or educational value to the Province. The Archives also serves as a Records Center, preserving non-current operating records of the Provincial Office. The policy of that office is to retain there the records of the past two administrations. The Archivist, in consultation with the staff of the Provincial Office, will draw up an Annual Records Transfer Schedule to ensure the timely and orderly movement of designated Provincial Office Records to the Archives. The Provincial, in consultation with his staff and the Archivist, shall designate the records which are to be transferred. The Provincial Office shall compile a list of the contents of each box or container to be transferred to the Archives. A copy of this list should be retained in the Provincial Office and another copy shall be placed inside the box it inventories. When records are transferred to the Archives, they should be boxed in the same order in which they were originally filed at the Provincial Office. It shall also be the responsibility of the Provincial Office to pay the transportation costs of the material sent.
  2. Whenever the Archives is offered material as a gift or donation, the donor shall be requested to sign a legally binding “Deed of Gift or Donation.” This “Deed of Gift” shall state, among its other provisions, that title to the materials passes to the Donee (the Archives) upon delivery to the Archives; and that following delivery and the completion of the process of accessioning and arranging, the donor may freely examine any of the materials. The Archives shall not, normally, accept as a gift or donation any material to which conditions are in any way attached, e.g. restriction of access. The Archives shall not receive as a gift or donation any material for which the donor will not sign a legally binding “Deed of Gift or Donation.”
  3. The Provincial staff will ensure that one copy of any document sent to the Province at large shall be forwarded to the Archives for preservation. In this way a more complete record of the “Acts” and decisions of each Provincial Administration will be created. Such communications from the Provincial to the members of the Province at large shall usually be considered to be confidential.Communications from the Provincial to a particular member shall always be considered confidential and their contents may not be divulged to anyone without the permission of the party to whom the communication was addressed. Personal information concerning deceased members may be divulged only after careful screening of the desired information by the Archivist. Qualified persons engaged in scholarly research may be granted access to the records of deceased members if they are attempting to assemble statistical data and do not intend to use individuals’ names or identify particular individuals.Personal information regarding any living member or former member of the Province will not be divulged or shared in any manner to anyone at all without the permission of the person concerned.
  4. The Archivist will make every effort to determine the legal owner of any material received into the Archives and secure a “Deed of Gift” from that owner. Material received from Passionist sources may not always belong to the Province, e.g. parish records, and should never be accessioned without a legal “Deed of Gift.”
  5. The Archives reserves the right to handle and process donations according to standard archival practise. This includes the right to dispose of excess or unsuitable material either by giving it to another, more suitable, repository or by discarding it completely. Before such disposition the Archives will inform the original donor(s) who may wish to reclaim the gift in whole or in part.
  6. Whenever a monastery, house or region (such as a mission or Vice-Province) of the Province is closed down, all records will be sent to the Archives where they will be processed and relevant records retained so that the history of the house/region may be properly documented.
  7. Whenever a member or agency of the Province (e.g., NEWSNOTES, Vocation Office) publishes any material, one copy will be deposited in the Archives.
  8. Whenever a member of the Province dies, all his records (personal, health, educational, etc.) shall be sent to the Archives. His immediate Superior shall be responsible for creating a brief biography or curriculum vitae of the deceased and sending it to the Archives where it shall become a permanent record of the member’s life. This biography shall be in addition to the homily given at the member’s funeral and his memorial card with photo which are also to be sent to the Archives. Passionists who have lived and worked with the deceased are requested to send to the Archives a brief account of their association with him.
  9. Whenever a member is separated from the Province permanently, his personal records shall also be sent to the Archives.

(To be continued in future issues)

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