Program History & Development

Since the very early days of Marywood (College) University, the institution’s administrators, faculty, and staff have produced records relating to their duties. Individual departments managed the records they created and received. Legal documents were kept in the President’s Office or in the office of an administrator.

In 1975, an Office of Archives was established on the first floor of the Learning Resources Center in one small room with an adjoining walk-in safe. Sister M. Cuthbert Donovan, I.H.M., former Dean of Marywood College, began the massive task of organizing the College’s archival records. Sister Cuthbert served as College Archivist until 1986, when Sister Mary Roche, I.H.M., succeeded her.

In 1987, the Pennsylvania State Historical Records Advisory Board awarded Marywood College and The University of Scranton a $25,600 joint grant to help both schools locate, identify, and organize their institutional documents of enduring value. Under the direction of a consultant, Dr. John F. Bluth, Sister Mary conducted Marywood’s first University-wide survey to identify records of archival value, and established the first coding structure for organization of records in archival custody. She also created the College’s first electronic finding aids for the Archives.

The President of the University established the Records Management Program on September 1, 1997, charging the Secretary of the University to begin to lay the basis for the University-wide program. The action was reported to the Board of Trustees at its general meeting on October 25, 1997. Responsibility for the Archives was then transferred to the Secretary of the University. Sister Mary Roche continued as Archivist until her retirement in March, 2000, at which time the Archives became the Records Management and Archives Department. The space of the department was then expanded into two rooms on the third floor of the Learning Resources Center, the office of the Director was moved to the third floor, and the department’s space on the first floor was converted into an archival records center.

Richard Ryczak held the position of Director of Records Management and Archives from May 2000 to July 2002. During his tenure, an archival display area was created on the first floor of the building. A University-wide policy entitled Records Management and Archives was formally approved by the President of the University on December 1, 2000, as recommended by the Policy Committee of the University. Mr. Ryczak then began a University-wide inventory of departmental records.

Kristen Deiter, Ph.D., C.A., with the assistance of a volunteer, created an Index to Marywood University: The First Seventy-five Years: A Retrospective, to facilitate archival research and promote the history of the University. Dr. Deiter has established two new archival display areas on the second and third floors of the Learning Resources Center (see Archival Exhibit). And she has created these integrated features of the Program, which Jim Sullivan, the new Director of Records Management and Archives, will continue to develop and manage:

  • The Records Management and Archives Department Website
  • The policies and procedures within this Handbook
  • An effective and efficient system for conducting departmental records inventories and developing authorized records retention schedules
  • A database of the University’s authorized records retention schedules
  • Processes for preserving and arranging Marywood University’s archival photographic and news clipping collections; see Archival Projects
  • Systems for arranging other University archives according to their provenance
  • Finding aids to facilitate archival accessibility for research, including a consolidated version of previous electronic finding aids, and the Archives Catalog, a database of metadata on thousands of archives dating from the founding of Marywood College to the present


The Director of Records Management and Archives welcomes suggestions for the developing Records Management and Archives Program. Suggestions are considered in light of University-wide implications as well as established professional practices.