FALL 2021 - Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Distinctive Collections reading rooms remain closed and materials may be viewed by appointment only. You may also request that an item be scanned. We are able to do partial scans and may be able to do full scans depending on copyright and staff availability. Please submit requests through this form. We also have numerous digital items already available in the Digital Library. For assistance in researching Distinctive Collections materials please email us.

Current Events


October 22nd, 2020 | 11:00-12:00 EDT

Part of the Falvey Forum, University Archives will discuss how the archive is not a passive, neutral institution, but an active ever-evolving site where social power and memory is negotiated, challenged, and confirmed. This session will explore the history of diversity and social justice on Villanova’s campus through material from the University Archives and illustrate how archival practices and bias shape memory.  Its is also an opportunity to learn how to do research in an archive.


Tuesday, October 13, 2020 | 3:00–4:30PM EDT

The PACSCL DEI committee invites you to attend a panel discussion about confronting and dismantling long-standing pejorative language in library cataloging and description, centering around the documentary, Change the Subject.

RSVP info: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/confronting-our-language-in-the-library-tickets-121602399049



September 10, 2020 | 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM EST

Over the past several months many local Philadelphia institutions have launched collecting projects either encouraging our communities to document and contribute their experiences to their institutions or perform their own rapid response collecting to document the impact of coronavirus pandemic as a public-health crisis and the political protests of Black Lives Matter. This event is an unconference-style meeting meant as a platform to exchange experiences, challenges, resources, and develop potential opportunities of collaboration in collecting material around COVID-19 and BLM protests.  This zoom meeting is open to people who are actively pursuing a collecting project or interested in starting one at their institution.

Please email Beaudry Allen, beaudry.allen@villanova.edu for a zoom link




  • Curators Emma Poley and Beaudry Rae Allen

    Curators Emma Poley and Beaudry Rae Allen

  • slide
  • slide
  • slide
  • slide
  • slide
  • slide

Now on display...

Be Not Afraid of Greatness: Celebrating the History of Villanova Theatre

In celebration of the new John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts, University Archives invites you to take a step into our past and enjoy exploring the history of Villanova Theatre. On display are programs, photographs, costumes, and organizational records since the inception of the Dramatic Society in 1870 to today.

The exhibit is on display on the first floor of Falvey Library till the end of the summer.

Meet our co-curator Emma Poley, Theatre Arts '21

Emma Poley is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Theatre. She graduated from Villanova University in 2019 with Bachelor of Arts degree, double majoring in Classical Studies and Humanities. In addition, Poley was a member of the Interdisciplinary Scholars cohort in the honors program. She has been a student worker in Falvey Library for the past five years working with Distinctive Collections & Digital Engagement. 

As part of her Master of Arts program within the theatre department, Emma is studying acting, critical theory and practice in the theatrical arts and is participating in a special study on Shakespearian drama. One aspect of theater that Emma is most interested in studying is Dramaturgy – a unique discipline in the field of theater. The Dramaturg (dra-mə-tərj) is a literary adviser who works closely with the Director and artistic team of a theatrical production, providing research, edits, and lending creative insight to the work.

* Her favorite era of Villanova Theatre is the transition of theatre as an extracurricular activity by Belle Masque Society to a full-fledged graduate program. 

* Emma recommends checking out the costumes, as they were designed and crafted in-house by the Costume Shop led by Janus Stefanowicz.


Welcome to the Villanova University Archives

The Villanova University Archives are the official depository for the permanent records of the university. These records are deemed permanent because of their legal, fiscal, administrative, or historical value.

The Archives were established to collect, preserve, appraise, describe, organize and make accessible all permanent records in whatever form made or received in connection with the transaction of university affairs. It is the responsibility of the Archives to document the operations, policies, and programs of Villanova University.

In effect, the Archives serve as the institutional memory of the University.


Distinctive Collections & Digital Engagement is proud to announce our finding aids are now publicly available and searchable through our VuFind catalog and a public user interface through ArchivesSpace Currently all the Villanova Presidents’ papers from 1870s to 1980s are publicly accessible.  Over the course of the next year, expect to see more University Archives finding aids from other areas of the University published.

Explore published University Archives finding aids here:



View the video below for a tutorial on how to use ArchivesSpace:


ONLINE Exhibits


More Information

Please read the Villanova University Archives Collection Development Policy for more information on the University Archives history and policies.


Records Retention Policy 

Please see the Records Retention Policy and Schedules (pdf)


Transfer Records to the University Archives

To arrange a donation or transfer of materials, please contact Beaudry Rae Allen, Digital and Preservation Archivist beaudry.allen@villanova.edu.


Art and Sciences, Nursing, Engineering and Business maintain a syllabi archive.  Students may access this system to view (in read-only mode) syllabi for courses that are currently being offered or for certain courses that have been offered in the past.   

See the archive at: Syllabi Archive