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University Archives

Guide to using resources held by the Carnegie Mellon University Archives.

Preparing for your visit

Porter Hall Library, approximately 1943
  • Identify your research question and research goals.
    • What type of information do you need?
    • What type of document might house that information?
    • Who would have created or collected that type of information?
  • Check out our finding aids or collection inventories to determine if the University Archives has the information you are looking for.
  • Not sure where to start? Contact us for a virtual or in-person research consultation. 
  • Ready to visit? Contact the Archives to schedule a research appointment.
    • When you contact us, please provide a list of collections and boxes you are interested in accessing. Many of our collections are stored offsite and can take 48 hours to retrieve.
    • Let us know your research goals - we may know about additional resources.  

What to expect when you visit

Here are a few tips and policies to keep in mind when you visit the University Archives.

  • Make sure you allow enough time to conduct your research - we recommend a MINIMUM of 1 hour.
    • Archival research usually takes longer than you expect it to.
    • Allow time for boxes to be retrieved for you.
  • You will not be allowed to eat or drink in the archive
  • Please bring pencils, not pens
  • You are allowed to use a laptop
  • You may take photographs of collection materials for your personal research use
  • You may be asked to store your bag and jacket while using the archive
  • Folders labeled "Miscellaneous" are almost always worth looking through
  • Don't forget to bring your curiosity and ASK QUESTIONS!