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Library and Archive Policies


The core mission of the Archives and Special Collections is to make accessible to researchers the rich history of Unitarian, Universalism, and Unitarian Universalism. However, our responsibility to create an open and accessible archive is balanced by a responsibility to protect the privacy of institutions and individuals. While we make every effort to make all of our materials fully accessible, we do restrict access to some archival materials.

Unprocessed Material

All unprocessed material more than 80 years old is open to researchers. Unprocessed material less than 80 years old will be accessible at the discretion of Archives staff, with a strong disposition towards allowing access. In some instances, in restricted material will be temporarily pulled from unprocessed collections prior to the researcher accessing the material. The researcher will be informed of what type of restricted material was pulled. 

Donor Restrictions

While we prefer to receive materials without access restrictions, we will allow materials to have reasonable access restrictions if required by the donor.

Materials Concerning Religious Professional Misconduct

It is vital that materials concerning religious professional misconduct be made accessible to researchers in a manner that is sensitive to survivors. All material relating to religious professional misconduct will be have limited access for forty years after date of creation. A donor agreement with a survivor supersedes these policies and we work with the donor to create specific restrictions and access policies for that collection.

Meadville Lombard complies will follow all mandatory reporting laws and any other legal requirements and responsibilities.

Requesting Access to Restricted Documents

Archives exist to be accessed and at Meadville Lombard we make every effort ensure an open archive. To that end, a patron can request an exception that will allow access to restricted materials. These decisions are made on a case-by-case basis by the Director of the Library and Archives. Materials that are restricted by a donor agreement are not subject for an exception, unless stated within that agreement. Exceptions for restricted material produced by Meadville Lombard must be approved by the Leadership Team. 

Meadville Lombard Wiggin Library
180 N. Wabash Ave.
Suite 625 
Chicago, IL 60601

Library and Archives Phone: 312-546-6488        Library Email:        Archives Email: