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Special Collections & Archives Guide

Learn how to access, use and experiment with primary resources in the learning laboratory!

Visiting Us

Special Collections and University Archives is for everybody! While making an appointment helps you maximize your time in the archives, you do not need an invitation to visit us, nor do you need to schedule an appointment. 

Our Locations on Campus

Special Collections & University Archives in Perry Library 

Located on the 3rd floor of Perry Library, our main special collections area contains records of enduring  value to the University, state, and nation. We are open to the public Monday-Friday from 9:00-4:30.




Located alongside the Music Library in the Diehn Center for the Performing Arts, this collections specializes in historical and contemporary music collections by composers, conductors, musicians, etc. Visits to the Dien Composers Room are by appointment only.


Making the Most of Your Visit

While preparing ahead is not required, the following tips will help you make the most of your visit:
  • Have a good idea of what you want to research.  Let the staff know what topic and time period you want to research. This may mean having a conversation with our staff before your visit to understand what is available for you to see. While preparing ahead is not necessary, it can help you maximize your time in the archives.

  • Make an appointment before you come.  Letting the staff know that you're coming will help us prepare the materials you want to see before you get there, allowing you more research time (and less waiting time).  Plus, if you reserve your research appointment in advance, you are guaranteed that we will be open and available. 
  • Bring a camera (but leave the flash off).  We are able to provide high-quality digital scans and copies of materials, but you may prefer to bring you own cameras (iPhones, point-and-shoots, etc.). Just let a staff member know you will be taking pictures.
  • Leave your food, drinks, and bags at the door.  We have a specific area near the front doors for you to leave your briefcases, laptop bags, and water bottles.  There is a strict no food or drink policy for the Research Room and this goes for all researchers and classroom visits.
  • Bring a pencil, not a pen.  We request that you don't make any markings on materials, but we also understand that sometimes small accidents happen. For this reason, we do not allow researchers to use ink or pens while doing research. 
  • Keep track of what you're using.  Keeping accurate citations is vital in archival and special collections research.  Often, your notation of where a specific item is located (e.g., collection, box, folder) is the only way we can locate the item again.  Because of this, it is very important that you work on only one box at a time and you keep files in the correct order.  If you have questions on how to cite archival materials, please ask us!  We're happy to help.
  • Bring a sweater. Special collections facilities maintain a dry, cool climate in order to preserve our unique and fragile materials.