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Purdue University Northwest Archives and Special Collections

Purdue University Northwest (PNW) Archives and Special Collections mission is to identify, collect, preserve, and make accessible to researchers materials of enduring value that document the history, culture, scholarship, advancements, and achievements of

Research Room Tips

Researching in the Archives & Special Collections can seem a bit daunting.  Here are a few tips to help you make the most out of your visit:

  1. Have a good idea of what you want to research.  Let the staff know what topic and time period you want to research. This may mean having a conversation with the University Archivist before your visit to understand what is available for you to see. 
  2. Make an appointment before you come.  Letting the staff know that you're coming will help us prepare the materials you want to see before you get there, allowing you more research time (and less waiting time).  Plus, if you reserve your research appointment in advance, you are guaranteed that we will be open and available.
  3. Bring a camera (but leave the flash off).  We do have some capabilities for making reproductions for you, but many researchers prefer bringing their own cameras (iPhones, point-and-shoots, etc.) to aid in their research.  If you are wanting a high-quality reproduction for publication or print, please talk to the staff.
  4. Leave your food and drinks at the door.    There is a strict no food or drink policy for the Research Room and this goes for all researchers and classroom visits.
  5. Bring a pencil, not a pen.  We request that you don't make any markings on materials, but we also understand that sometimes small accidents happen. For this reason, we do not allow researchers to use ink or pens while doing research. 
  6. Keep track of what you're using.  Keeping accurate citations is vital in archival and special collections research.  Often, your notation of where a specific item is located (e.g., collection, box, folder) is the only way we can locate the item again.  Because of this, it is very important that you work on only one box at a time and you keep files in the correct order.  If you have questions on how to cite archival materials, please ask us!  We're happy to help.

Research Rooms Do's and Don'ts

The Research Room is where you can come and see the materials first hand. To keep our collections clean and secure, there are some rules for those wanting to visit the Research Room:

  • No food or drink is allowed in the Reading Room area.
  • You must have clean and dry hands- no lotions or fingernail polish. 
  • For some fragile materials, you may be asked to wear gloves.
  • Please only use pencil, never pen or any kind of ink.
  • Do not make any markings on materials.
  • Please only work on one open box at a time and keep all folders and materials in order.

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact the library at libref@pnw.edu.