How can I prepare for my visit to the archives?

There’s a lot you can do to prepare!

  • Check out our annual registration form and our photography form to get an idea of the rules of our Research Room and plan what you bring accordingly.
  • No pens are allowed in our Research Room, but you can bring your notes and your laptop if you’d like.
  • You may bring a camera or cell phone to take photos for research use, but no scanners are permitted. Cell phones in the Research Room should be on SILENT. If you need to make or answer a call please exit the Research Room and go out to the main area of level 2 to do so. The Research Room is a quiet area for people doing archival research.
  • You’ll be asked to leave any bags and other belongings in one of our lockers.
  • No food or drink (not even water) is allowed in the archives. These items may be stored in the locker.
  • Dress warmly, archives are naturally cooler than the rest of the building because we keep the environment of our materials at temperatures that are safer for their preservation. It’s not uncommon for you to see archivists wearing sweaters in July.
  • Do some searching before you come.
    Archival research can be difficult and time consuming. The more you can do ahead of time the faster your on-site work will be. Look through our databases and take note of collection names, as well as specific series and box numbers for that collection. Some of our collections require that you know the series as well as the box number to access the correct materials. Take a look at the questions below for some ideas on getting started on searching. Don’t forget to take a peek at the paper finding aids for our collections when you visit. Sometimes there is extra information in the finding aid folders that may aid you in your search.

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This page was last modified on January 6, 2020