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Historical Bases of American Higher Education: Archival Resources: Using Archives

A guide to primary resources about the history of higher education from the UB University Archives
Last Updated: Feb 19, 2024 12:04 PM


What to bring

  • Your laptop or phone; we have Wi-Fi and electrical outlets at every table
  • Current photo identification (e.g. driver's license, campus ID, passport)

What to leave at home

  • Food or drink
  • Pens, though you may use our pencils and paper for taking notes
  • Scanners, tripods or video equipment

Other things to know

  • Identify yourself as a student in ELP 502 to the desk attendant.
  • Phones need to be silenced.
  • You may use a camera or phone to take pictures of material.  No flash can be used and permission is required from the desk attendant.
  • Staff will make up to 20 pages of photocopies free of charge per student.  Entire collections and publications cannot be copied.

Handling Material

Material in Archives is unique, rare, and fragile.  Take your time when handling materials.

  • Documents should remain flat on the table.
  • Take out only one folder at a time from boxed collections.  Maintain the original order of the folders as well as materials within the folder.
  • You may be asked to wear gloves or use supports when handling certain materials.
  • Be sure to pay attention to documents as a whole; look at the front and back of items for identifying and descriptive information.
  • Any questions?  Ask!  That's what we're here for.

New York University's short video on Handling Archival materials.


Each student will need to fill out a Registration Form and Access to Materials form.

If taking photos with a camera, an additional form will be provided by the desk attendant.

Have your student or other photo ID with you when you register.