Archive visit tips

Tags how-to

Things to think about before you go to an Archive.

Questions to ask yourself

  • What rules does the archive have around scanning, photographing, and sharing images of materials in its collection?
  • Are the materials that you want available on-site or do you need to request them in advance?
  • What types of materials do you anticipate using for your research? Flat sheets of paper, photographs, books? This will determine whether you need a scanner, camera, smartphone, or other device.
  • Do you need to request access to scan or photograph documents?
  • Do you need to have your own equipment to do the scanning or photographing?
  • Do you need to remotely access your files or machine at UM while you are there? Is this allowed by the archive?
  • How are you going to keep track of metadata (e.g., bibliographic information) for the materials you are scanning, photographing, or recording? Some possibilities include creating a separate file with detailed information, placing slips of paper in the images themselves, and using automated time and date stamps?

Resources at U-M that can help

U-M Library has:

  • Librarians who can help you locate archives and special collections relevant to your research
  • Databases like WorldCat, ArchiveGrid, and Archive Finder that can help you identify relevant archives
  • Librarians who can help talk through a plan for managing your data and research materials
  • Technology consultants at the library and at LSA TS can help you OCR text from your files, navigate transcription tools, and discuss options for citation management and database creation.

LSA TS has:


research archives field research

Additional notes

archive research


Article ID: 1733
Wed 5/27/20 10:39 AM
Mon 8/31/20 7:57 AM