A few helpful hints for working in archives, special collections, and libraries:
- Consult finding aids for collection descriptions, material types (e.g. correspondence, news clippings), material dates, and a sense of how large the collection is.
- Before visiting an archives or special collections library, check their hours and contact the staff to let them know you're coming. They'll probably ask you which materials you'd like to use.
- Although more sources are available online than ever before, the vast majority of primary source documents (held by archives and libraries) have not yet been digitized.
- Librarians and archivists are available to answer your questions, so don't hesitate to ask for help if you run into difficulty. Archivists and librarians may know about collections and sources that you haven't heard about before.
- This guide from the Society of American Archivists may be helpful as you plan your research.