If you have not done research in the Archives, here is what to expect and some suggestions for making the most out of your visit.
|Discuss your project with an archivist before you visit||We will help you identify relevant sources and what, if any, access restrictions apply. Identifying relevant sources is not always as simple as it seems, so make this initial contact well in advance of your visit.|
|Make an appointment||There is only one archivist on reading room duty. If we know about your visit in advance, we can make sure materials are ready for you. If you arrive unannounced and the archivist is busy, you may wait quite a while for the materials you need.|
|Consider the Sources||
University records are created to accomplish some organizational activity and communicate among participants in that activity. Records must be interpreted. They are messy, ambiguous, contradictory, redundant, and (often) missing.
Archival control organizes records by provenance, not by subject. Records of a single entity (department, committee, office) are maintained as a unit, separate from the records created by other entities. Thus, information on a given topic is dispersed among the records of all the entities that needed information related to that topic to do their jobs. What this means is that almost never is there a single source which brings together all the information available on a given topic.
A single record is part of a process which created many records. Rarely does one document make sense outside the context of related records. Consequently, the finding aids created by archivists describe records as aggregates, not as individual items. What that means is that there is no catalog or index to each of the over 24,000,000 pages held by the Archives. Finding aids to the Archives collection are not yet available on our web site.
|Consider your own resources||Using primary source materials is time-consuming. Be realistic about meeting deadlines and about how much time you are willing to devote to your research project when you are defining its scope.|
|The Archives is not a library||
The materials in the Archives are often fragile, always unique or rare, and usually irreplaceable. Consequently, users do not have the freedom they do in a library. For example:
questions or comments? please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Return Case or OhioLINK items to any Case library, yes. Case libraries have different hours, so your book might not get checked in on the day you return it if you use a bookdrop.
Return the CPL@Case-KSL books only to KSL, so the collection is here for you & others. Case libraries are not responsible for returning other local libraries’ books. Returning public library books here will not check them off of your account at those libraries.