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University Archives

Sister Mary Lawrence Franklin Archival Center is dedicated to preserving the heritage of Mercyhurst University. The Archival Center consists of materials whose contents or physical characteristics dictate them for special attention, care, and storage. These collections primarily relate to the institutional history of Mercyhurst University, the Mercyhurst Community, and the Sisters of Mercy involvement in the University.

Sister Mary Lawrence Franklin History
Sister Lawrence was born in Erie and was a graduate of Mercyhurst University. She taught at several elementary and secondary schools and served as the archivist for the Sisters of Mercy from 1968-1995. As a Sister of Mercy, she was active in the Mercy community and with several local volunteer organizations. A poet, Sister Lawrence had published five booklets of her work and authored From Eire to Erie, a history of the Erie Sisters of Mercy.

The Sr. Mary Lawrence Franklin Archival Center has occupied the same location since 1970 when it was first established. It was under the direction of the history department, that university materials as well as historical local and regional materials were collected, cataloged, and preserved. In September 1995, the archival center was named for Sister Mary Lawrence Franklin R. S. M., Mercyhurst archivist from 1980-1994, and the center's focus was directed towards preserving Mercyhurst University history.

Thomas J. and Michele Ridge Archives

The Thomas J. and Michele Ridge Collection at Mercyhurst University covers the timeline of their years in public service. It consist of primary documents, records, and photographs accumulated of the course of their lifetime of public service, including governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (1995-2001), and eventually his artifacts from the Department of Homeland Security where he served as the first secretary of the agency. The materials in the collection were selected for their permanent, long-term preservation are specifically based on their enduring cultural, historical, and evidentiary value. The archival records in this collection are normally unpublished and almost always unique, unlike books or magazines for which many identical copies exist.

Governor and Mrs. Ridge’s papers incorporate subjects of research interest regarding Erie, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and national and international topics. These subjects range from home rule, welfare reform, education, Americans with Disabilities Act and balanced budget amendments to criminal justice, white collar crime, merit selection of judges, international drug control, and include creation of the Department of Homeland Security.

To review the collection’s contents, visit the Ridge Archives online database.

For questions about the University and/or Ridge Archives, please contact
Katie Quirin, MLIS
University & Ridge Archivist
(814) 824-2295