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About Special Collections and University Archives

General information and policies about Special Collections and University Archives

Visit Us

We offer in-person appointments Monday through Thursday between 10:00am – 4:00pm. To make an appointment please fill out and submit our Appointment Request Form. We require two business days’ notice.

As part of our commitment to access, we have digitized and made some of our most heavily used collections available online in our Digital Collections.

Tips for Preparing for Your Appointment

Intern working on a processing project

Before Your Appointment:

  • Take a look at our ODU Special Collections and University Archives Research Guide. This guide contains tips about using our collections and conducting research with primary sources.
  • Browse and search our collections using our ODU Archives Database.
    • Use this database to search our helpful guides for collections available in Old Dominion University Libraries Special Collections and University Archives. It includes Music Special Collections located in the Diehn Composers Room, University Archives, and Community Collections
    • When you schedule your appointment, let the archivist know which collection materials you are interested in viewing, including collection name and box number if possible.

What to Expect During Your Appointment:

  • Make sure to wash your hands with soap and water before your appointment. Hand sanitizer may not be used before the appointment.
  • The front door of the Reading Room will be locked; staff will unlock the door for you once you arrive.
  • You will be asked to place your personal items (including bags and outerwear) in a secure locker. Lockers will be cleaned before and after each appointment. 
  • You will be asked to fill out a Registration Form and show a picture ID, i.e., a drivers license, university ID card, etc. This information will be kept confidential and is gathered to preserve the security and safety of our collections.
  • Requested boxes and items will be gathered by staff before your appointment. When you schedule your appointment, you will give our staff a list of archives boxes, rare books, or artifacts you will need for your appointment. If you are not sure which items you need to view, let our staff know the topic you are researching and we will help you locate materials.
  • You will be provided an individual “Research Kit” containing the items and forms you will need during your appointment. You may only use pencils, paper, and small electronic devices during your appointment. 
  • Be sure to bring a camera, smart phone, or other electronic device with a camera to take pictures of materials
  • If staff are required to leave the Reading Room for any reason, you will be instructed to wait outside the department
  • Staff will clean and disinfect the designated research desk before and after your appointment
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