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Using Archives and Special Collections (Tri-Co)

This guide offers hints on how to use archival and special collections material, from reading material through citation.

Using Archives and Special Collections

Have you ever wondered how to request archival materials from a special collections department? What sort of rules you might expect there? Wonder no more! This guide is designed to help you with your primary source research from your arrival in special collections through reading the materials, through citing them for a paper. It contains information from many different institutions; while small things may vary from place to place, many of these rules apply more generally at almost all special collections department. If you want to get in touch with the special collections department on your campus, contact:

Bryn Mawr College Special Collections

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections

Swarthmore College Special Collections

Access Swarthmore College Special Collections

Swarthmore College Special Collections is a department within the library where manuscripts, archives, rare books, historic photographs and images, and other special materials are held. There are four units within the department, each with a distinct mission to collect items within their subject area:

Students are welcome and invited to use Special Collections. Our materials are only available in our Reading Room, and an appointment is required, but Swarthmore students can easily book a Special Collections appointment online.  The Special Collections Reading Room is located in McCabe Library, to your left as soon as you enter the building (room #130).

If you have any questions, please reach out to Celia Caust-Ellenbogen (she/her) at