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Guide to the Special Collections and Archives Research Center

Conducting Research

Once a patron has registered, Public Services staff will page the collection materials they’ve requested, and/or introduce them to tools that will assist them in finding materials appropriate to their research.

You can expedite the research process by having a clear research topic in mind, and/or knowing which collection(s) and box(es) you’d like to review. If you’re working on a class project, letting Public Services staff know allows them to assist you more quickly and efficiently.

Materials are pulled by the box, rather than by the folder, and patrons will be given one box at a time. Patrons are asked to use only one folder at a time, and maintaining the existing physical order of document within each folder is paramount. For those new to archival research, Public Services staff is happy to orient you to the proper use of archival materials.

While we do allow the use of personal cameras or cell phones to capture images, the use of portable scanners is prohibited. SCARC also provides the following for researcher use and convenience:

  • Gloves (only required when handling photographs)
  • BookEye overhead scanner (for the digitization of materials)
  • Pencils
  • Magnifying glasses
  • Light boxes (for viewing slides)

SCARC’s Reading Room is equipped with an A/V station that accommodates many current and obsolete formats, including CD, DVD, VHS, and cassettes, and a microform reader for microfilm and microfiche. We cannot, however, provide access to U-matic or Betamax tapes, reel-to-reel tapes, or LPs. For information on how to access these latter formats, please review the “Duplication” section.