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Archives and Special Collections

A general guide to the University Archives and Special Collections.

Mission statement

It is the mission of the Franklin Pierce University Archives to support the University by documenting its history and the people who contribute to that history by identifying, collecting, organizing, caring for, and making available the University records that have historical, legal, fiscal, or administrative value.

Archival records have permanent administrative, legal, fiscal, and historical value and are preserved for ongoing use. In this capacity, the Archivist assists administrative decision-making and University operations by serving as a resource for information.

The University Archives serves the University administration, students, faculty, and alumni. The University Archives also provides services to the regional and research communities by encouraging the use of archival records and university-related historical materials.

Bound dissertations of various colors line shelves.

Access and Use

The DiPietro Library welcomes the use of the Franklin Pierce Archives by students, faculty, and staff. Outside researchers are also welcome to consult the collections.

All archives users must submit a User Request Form each time they consult the Archives and Special Collections.


In general, Franklin Pierce University administrative records will be available for research use ten years from creation date. Availability will be limited by

  • The necessity of protecting individual privacy rights as mandated by state and federal laws.
  • The University’s stand or implied pledge of confidentiality with respect to certain materials; and
  • Laws of slander and libel.

University Counsel, appropriate department head, and the Archivist will determine any special conditions of access, which may be placed on additional and specific categories of archival records. Considerations of law, privacy, and confidentiality will be applied.

When the department head and the Archivist make the recommendation, and when the records do not carry confidentiality or privacy constraints, the records may be opened to researchers immediately.

In the absence of specific restrictions, and within the established guidelines, all materials in the Archives will be opened to researchers on a non-discriminatory basis.

Using Archives and Special Collections

Archives & Special Collections hold materials that are unique and/or are difficult to replace. For that reason, the holdings do not circulate and require careful handling under the supervision of a library staff member. The Archives and Special Collections maintain closed stacks; browsing is not permitted. 

Special Collections and University Publications Collection

Items in the University Publications Collection and Special Collections may be checked out for in-library use only. Users wishing to check out items from these collections must provide photographic identification (e.g., driver's license, college ID) when requesting holdings; identification card will be returned when the non-circulating item is returned. 

Archival Collections

Items in the Archives are non-circulating and must be used under the supervision of the Archives Librarian. Currently, the Archives Reading Room is not staffed continuously. Please contact Brantley Palmer, the Archives Librarian to set up an appointment to use materials in the Archives.

Reading Room Policy

All patrons are asked to observe the following Reading Room policies:

  • All archives users must submit a User Request Form upon each visit to the archives.
  • Archives staff will instruct users in the proper handling of archival and special collections materials.
  • All materials and books must be handled at tables in the reading room.
  • Archives visitors may use finding aids to determine what materials to use, or they may ask for assistance. Much of the collection is currently unprocessed.
  • No food or drink is allowed in the Archives Reading Room.
  • Only paper, notebooks, pencils, digital cameras, or laptop computers/tablets may be used in the archives.
  • Franklin Pierce University reserves the right to search patrons' bags when they leave the Archives Reading Room.
  • Library staff will make photocopies or scans of materials (see Reproduction of materials).
  • Researchers who wish to obtain a copy of archive or special collection materials must complete a reproduction request form (see Reproduction of materials).

Reproduction of materials

It is the policy of Archives & Special Collections to provide access to its materials. Many of the items held by the department are extremely fragile or represent unique resources. Therefore, items in Archives & Special Collections will be copied when:

  1. the material can physically withstand the procedure;
  2. reproduction is not in violation of copyright law (U.S. Code Title 17--Copyrights) or falls within the doctrine of educational fair use;
  3. there are no restrictions placed upon the material by the donor or agency of origin


Requests for photocopies are made of the Archivist who will determine if the material is in sound condition and may legally be copied. All photocopying is performed by the library staff. Every attempt is made to fill copy requests in a timely manner. Most requests will be completed within five business days. Requests for a large number of copies will be filled as time allows.

Requests for photographic prints of materials within Archives & Special Collections are completed by a vendor and can take up to 4 weeks. Vendor fees are passed to the patron. While orders can be expedited, the ability to do so will depend on the work schedule of the photographic studio and will result in an increase in fees.

Requests for scanned images of materials within Archives & Special Collections are usually completed within 5 working days. Every attempt is made to complete the scan in a timely manner. Requests for a large number of scans are filled as time allows. The researcher must provide resolution information before the item may be scanned.


  • Photocopies (on-site requests): Copies will be made for Franklin Pierce University students at a rate of $0.10 per copy. Other on-site users will be charged $0.25  per copy.
  • Photocopies (off-campus requests): Orders will be filled at a rate of $0.50 per copy, with a minimum fee of $10; postage will be an additional charge.
  • Photographs: Vendor fees are relayed to the patron; there is a $10 handling surcharge per order.
  • Scans: Orders will be filled at a rate of $0.25 per page for text and $1.00 per image.


For off-campus users, payment can be made by credit card or by check; please make checks payable to Franklin Pierce University.

For on-campus users, payment via credit card, cash, or check will be accepted.

Property Rights

The Trustees of Franklin Pierce University possess physical property rights to unpublished materials through ownership; literary and artistic property rights normally reside with the creator, or with the creator’s heirs or executors. The Trustees of Franklin Pierce University possess the copyright to published and unpublished materials created by employees in the course of conducting University business. While the staff is willing to provide whatever assistance possible, it is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain the necessary permissions prior to publication. Permission for publication must also be granted by Franklin Pierce University prior to publication or reproduction.


Reproduction of photographs or other images from Archives & Special Collections in a commercial publication carries a $75 commercial use fee per image. Fees for other commercial uses, e.g. posters, postcards, etc. are negotiated with the Archivist.

Additional Condition for Publication

The Library must receive one complimentary copy of any published work in which the material appears.

Collecting areas

The Franklin Pierce University Archives collects both official and unofficial records of enduring value to the institution. Official records are defined as documentary records created, received, or maintained by University personnel in conducting the business of the University. These records are the legal property of  Franklin Pierce University. Unofficial records are acquired when the records provide documentation of University-related programs and activities. Limited artifacts and memorabilia are collected.

Special Collections contain materials relating to President Franklin Pierce, town and local histories of New Hampshire and New England, and miscellaneous rare books that are part of the library collection.

The University Publications Collection is a gathering of university yearbooks, catalogs, dissertations and theses, and publications and audio-visual materials by Franklin Pierce University faculty, staff, institutes, alumni, students, and honorary degree recipients.

Archival boxes labelled Frank S. DiPietro collection line a shelf.


The Archives selectively digitizes or otherwise reformats donated collections for preservation and access purposes. The original material may be kept, returned to the donor, or destroyed according to the terms of the donation agreement.

Digitized collections are accessible through the Franklin Pierce University Digital Archives.