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Special Collections and Archives at Tomlinson Library

Introduction to how to use archives and some of the significant collections and items held in Special Collections and Archives here in Tomlinson Library.

In-person archival research tips

Quick introduction to archives

In-depth introduction to archives

Quick tips for visiting archives

  • The majority of archival material is not online - it would take hundreds of years and billions of dollars to digitize everything
  • Special collections and archives are typically found in libraries (academic and public), museums, larger historical societies, and government offices (might be called "historical records" instead of archives)
  • Look up the repository (another word for archive) online to become familiar with their hours, forms, policies, and staff
  • Contact the staff in advance by phone or email to introduce yourself, your research topic, and request an appointment
    • An appointment guarantees that they have material you're interested in and that it will be available when you arrive
  • Wash your hands before you enter their reading room so that you don't get oils or dirt on the material
  • If you want to look at photographs or negatives, they may provide gloves for you to wear
  • Bring a pencil, paper, your phone, laptop, etc. but be prepared to adhere to their rules for using these items
  • Some repositories allow photography using your phone but be sure to ask first

Special Collection and Archives Librarian

Profile Photo
Amber D'Ambrosio
Tomlinson Library 338
Special Collections and Archives
Subjects: Art & Design