Visiting An Archive


Basic Info

Office Hours
Weekly Schedule

Objectives of the Assignment

Steps in the Assignment

  1. Go to the website of the archive you select. Learn basic information about the archive: when they are open, their basic rules of engagement, where they are located, the scope of their collection, the extent of their digitization including finding aids and collections.
  2. Look through their collection material (and finding aids if online). Locate an interesting collection and formulate a search goal. For most of you this should be documents related to a historical speech. But your research interests may suggest an alternative to this. If so, negotiate them with me. I do recommend that you locate a collection that has not yet been fully digitized. For our introductory goals, this will be a fuller experience. Supplement this search with a search on ArchivesUSA on RESEARCH PORT, although you will probably find nothing if your library is not a participant.
  3. Contact someone at the archive. Explain to them that you are graduate student at the University of Maryland working on a project on your speaker. Identify as precisely as you can the collection/documents you want to examine. Arrange a time to visit the archive.
  4. Visit the archive. Talk to your contact if that is the arrangement you have made. In addition to examining your documents, be sure that when the visit is complete you can provide information on the following:
    1. scope of collections
    2. how the catalog or finding aids work
    3. what is on-line and what will require a visit
    4. examples of things they have that may be of interest to others (or the lack of anything of such interest)
    5. rules for use
    6. how to arrange to use
  5. Send a quick email when you return thanking the contact.
  6. Prepare a one page maximum report for the seminar based on the questions above.

Possible archives for your visit


Last Revised 21 January 2009