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The De La Salle Christian Brothers Midwest Province Archival Record & Museum Collections

NOTICE: The Midwest Province Archives are now located in the Manhatten College O'Malley Library, 4513 Manhatten College Parkway, Bronx, NY, 10463 under the supervision of archivist, Ms. Amy Surak, 718-862-7139,



The official name of the collections shall be the : DE LA SALLE CHRISTIAN BROTHERS ARCHIVES - MIDWEST DISTRICT


The archives collections will be housed at a location determined by the Brother Visitor for the District and/or his Council. At present, the archives is located in the Manhatten College O'Malley Library, 4513 Manhatten College Parkway, Bronx, NY, 10463 under the supervision of archivist, Ms. Amy Surak, 718-862-7139,


The purpose of the archives shall be to centralize and organize the historical materials and records of the District in collecting, cataloguing, preserving, protecting, and restoring when necessary, those records and materials pertaining to the history of the Institute in general and the District in particular. The further purpose of the archives shall be to make available needed records to those persons authorized to view such information, materials, records or collections.


The District Archives serve not only as a historical depository but as a reminder of years of fruitful service given by the Brothers. Archival materials provide knowledge of our heritage, an appreciation for the dedication and sacrifice of those who ca me before - in whose footsteps we walk, and as an incentive to keep alive and viable the motivating spirit which marks one as a De La Salle Christian Brother. For these reasons the expansion and maintenance of the Archives should be a special concern for the administration and for the superiors of the district. Consideration must be given not only to the contents of the Archives but also to space, budget and personnel.


The DISTRICT ARCHIVES are the official depository for all documents and materials of any form, made or received by the District in the pursuit of its religious and legal obligations and in the transaction of its business. These documents reflect the internal development of the province, the conduct of its affairs as a legal corporation, the individual and personal lives of its members, and the people the Brothers have been called to serve in their ministries.


All accounts of functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations and other activities which provide information about the Brothers of the former St. Louis District, the Central - Chicago District, the Winona - St. Paul and Minneapolis Districts a nd the Midwest District, shall be deposited in the Archives permanently. The archives shall serve as a source of valuable information and serious research, not a warehouse for storage. The contents are not limited to the official papers of past administrative officers but will encompass anything and everything which helps to preserve the sense of history, the spirit and the charism of the De La Salle Christian Brothers in the District and worldwide.


The Archivist is appointed by the Brother Provincial of the Midwest District and serves in a staff position under him. His chief function is to manage and direct the various activities related to the Archives.


The Archivist shall work to create an awareness of how the Archives can be of service both to the members of the District and to those they serve, The Archivist shall perform the following services:

  1. Publish inventories of archival materials on a periodical basis;
  2. Prepare archive-related materials for the Newsletter and other FSC publications;
  3. Assist researchers in their use of archival materials;
  4. Develop a program to educate the Brothers as to the materials that should be preserved;
  5. To increase archival holdings by correspondence with individuals and other sources;
  6. Maintain a Records Retention Service, keeping easily available for a specific time the records of house and departments within the District.


Most archival materials are protected by private law, that is by the Constitutions or by-laws of an organization, legislative ordinances, executive directives and approved policies. Religious profession records are considered public records and are th subject to public law. With the exceptional use of those records such as these that may be subject to public law, all materials contained or preserved within the archives are considered the exclusive property of the District (Institute) and are th governed by the policies of the Brother Visitor and/or his Council. In order to maintain autonomy of ownership of all materials maintained in the District Archives, the archives will not accept, nor care for, "on loan" items or papers from any source other than the Provincial offices.


Current vital community/district records should be maintained in the archives. These are the records necessary for the rebuilding of the original "structure" of the community should existing records be destroyed by some disaster.

All administrative, historical and pertinent records and materials of the general administration, local houses/institutions, mission houses, various ministries in which the Brothers were and are engaged shall be sources from which materials are drawn for or the Archives.

Published Institute documents, histories, newsletters, etc. will be maintained in the archives. Books, articles and other materials published or printed by the District, Institute, or individual Brothers will be maintained whenever possible and available le.


The general rules governing the regular and orderly transfer of records to the archives are the following:

  1. Inactive files should be transferred immediately to the archives;
  2. Files used infrequently, less than once a year, should be transferred to the archives;
  3. District administrators, upon leaving appointed or elected offices, should transfer files, not required by their successors, to the archives before the day of their departure from office. Files generated while an elected or appointed person is in of office are the property of the office, not the individual, in which they are/were generated. Files must not be removed from offices at the end of a term of office except to be transferred to the archives.
  4. Under no circumstances should any file be destroyed or laundered in any manner prior to transfer or deposit in the archives.


The DISTRICT ARCHIVES is a private archives and therefore the records contained therein are NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AT ANY TIME without written permission from the Brother Provincial and/or his Council.

Those publics outside of the legal bounds of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools seeking to do GENERAL research from PUBLISHED material available to the general public may use those materials in this category contained in the archive s with the permission and at the request of the archivist. Without written permission of the Brother Visitor and/or his Council, no further research may be conducted.

Ordinarily Brothers of the district or houses or institutions or any of the apostolates or ministries may have access to the collections and general files of the archives. The use of these is at the discretion of the Archivist and may be in consultation with the Brother Provincial.

Other files or materials may, at the discretion of the Brother Provincial and/or his Council, be restricted for designated lengths of time:

  1. Administrative records (unless otherwise designated by the administrator) of every kind shall remain closed for a 25 year period; they can be used for reference with the permission of the present Brother Visitor and/or his council in consult consultation the Archivist.
  2. Personal records shall remain closed for a 60 year period; controlled use of these records may be made with permission of the Brother Visitor in consultation with the archivist.
  3. Unpublished written material of a deceased Brother may be made available to a researcher for legitimate use with permission of the archivist and in consultation with the Brother Visitor.
  4. Drop files on living Brothers are restricted to all but the Brother and the administrators of the District.
  5. Published materials are generally not restricted and are available to anyone for research or reading in the archives room.
  6. Academic records and/or transcripts will be released only when requested by appropriate authorities and permission of the individual concerned. A fee is charged and a letter of request must be on file.
  7. In response to inquiries by the family members, friends, researchers or others for information about present or former, living or deceased members of the Institute, no information will be released without a formal request to and approved by the Brother Visitor upon consultation/recommendation of the Archivist.


The following guidelines shall be observed by researchers, whether members of the Institute or outside researchers:

  1. Permission to use the Archives must be made in writing to the Brother Visitor. Upon granting permission, Brother Visitor will send the letter of request to the Archivist for dispatch;
  2. Each researcher shall submit to the Archivist a statement of their purpose of the research and the records to be consulted;
  3. The use of certain documents may be restricted by statute, office, origin, or by request of the donor; the researcher may quote from these documents only with permission of the archivist and with due reference to the source;
  4. No one may use the Archives except authorized persons;
  5. The archivist will oversee the use of all materials requested in a designated area;
  6. No letter, memorandum, or document written by a person still living may be quoted, paraphrased or used in any way without the written consent of the author;
  7. The researcher must assume full responsibility for conforming to the laws of libel and literary property rights which may be involved in the use of manuscripts and other archival materials.


Records shall be handled with care, they shall not be traced over or marked upon; therefore, no carbon, ink or ballpoint pens are permitted in the research area - only pencils may be used.

If permission is given for reproduction of materials, the process is carried out by the archivist. Those requesting materials to be reproduced must pay for them in advance. A reproduction is provided solely for the convenience of examining the manuscript and must be returned upon completion of the research.

The reproduction may not be further copied, examined or transferred elsewhere without prior written permission. Permission to reproduce material does not constitute to publish.

If permission is given for the use of materials for publication, two copies of the publication are to be sent (at the author's expense) to the Archives. A thesis or dissertation is considered a publication.

No book, document, manuscript or other item may be removed from the Archives.