The Women's Basketball team posing in Alumni Hall for their 1977 Vincentian yearbook photograp



The University Archives and Special Collections are open to researchers by appointment only.

Archives Research Request Form

About the University Archives

The University Archives contains administrative records, manuscripts, audio/visual materials, photographs, memorabilia, and other artifacts. Finding aids or inventories are available for many of the collections. The collections include records and papers of:

  • the founding and establishment of St. John's College (and St. John's Preparatory School), Brooklyn, New York, in the 1870s;
  • the formation of the School of Education in 1908;
  • the creation of law, business and pharmacy schools in the 1920s at a separate campus in downtown Brooklyn ("Brooklyn Center");
  • the college's transition to University status and the establishment of a doctoral program in the 1930s;
  • on-campus military training during World Wars I and II;
  • the post-war impact of the G.I. bill and the commencement of coeducation;
  • the growth and importance of intercollegiate athletics;
  • the withdrawal of the University from the two Brooklyn campuses to the Queens campus between 1955 and 1972;
  • the creation of a professional college, now called the Collins College of Professional Studies in 1962;
  • the faculty strike of 1965-67 that marked a profound transition in administrative structure and governance of the University;
  • and the establishment of branch campuses at the former Notre Dame College of Staten Island, Oakdale, and Manhattan, and the international campuses in Rome and Paris.

University Archives Access Policy

St. John’s University allows access to the materials that are in the Archives. The Archives follows the guidelines created by the joint statement of the American Library Association and Society of American Archivist.

· Use of the University Archives is by appointment only.
· All researchers must fill out a Research Request Form and present a valid photo ID to be held by Archives Staff while the researcher has access to archival materials.
· There are restrictions on access to some collections and materials in the University Archives due to several reasons: legal restrictions; a wider institutional access policy; or donor and/or purchase stipulation. These restrictions include materials that can be deemed as sensitive to a person or institution as well as material that may be fragile/delicate and require special handling.
· St. John’s University colleges, schools, units or departments have the right to place restrictions on specific materials that have been transferred to the Archives. Researchers are responsible for acquiring written approval to access restricted materials from the appropriate authority.
· Unprocessed materials are not accessible to the public (including St. John's University staff, faculty and students).
· Archives may refuse access to an individual researcher who has violated the published policies and regulations of the repository.
· There is a limit of 10 copies per day per researcher. Archives staff will make the copies. Photos of materials may not be taken without written permission.
· Researchers must leave bags and personal items in a designated area away from the desk they are reviewing collections. They may only use pencils for writing or take notes on their laptops or tablets.
· There is no eating or drinking allowed in the Archives to protect the safety of materials.

Other Related Policies:

Guidelines for Transfer of Records to the University Archives


Finding Aids

Digital Collections

Documenting 150 Years of St. John's University History: A Digital Archival Exhibition

Historical Timelines

Historical University Films

Archives & Special Collections Blog

Feature Article: Archives Link University’s Past to its Future

Related Records at Other Institutions

St. John’s Prep Records

The St. John’s University Archives holds selected original St. John’s Prep materials, including some yearbooks. The Diocesan Archives of Brooklyn has custody of the original student records up to August 1972. Records after 1972 are in the custody of the current St. John’s Prep.  

Office of the Archivist
R.C. Diocese of Brooklyn
310 Prospect Park West
Brooklyn NY 11215
(718) 965-7300
[email protected]

St. John's Preparatory School 
21-21 Crescent Street
Astoria, NY 11105
(718) 721-7200

Vincentian Archives
The St. John’s University Archives formerly housed records of the Eastern Province USA of the Congregation of the Mission. The Vincentian records are now housed at St. Vincent's Seminary in Philadelphia.

Honey Rodgers
St. Vincent's Seminary
The Ducournau Archives
500 East Chelten Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19144
Phone: (215) 713-2434
Fax: (215) 848-5074
E-Mail: [email protected]