Tips for historical research

Using K-State's Archives

K-State's Archives are part of the Richard L.D. and Marjorie J. Morse Department of Special Collections, housed on Hale Library's 5th Floor.

The Archives are open Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Contacting the Archives
Brief Overview of the Collections
Accessing the Collections
Rules for Using Materials
Consumer Movement Archives
Crediting Information From the Archives Website

Finding Aids for selected university record, manuscript, and photograph collections.
Historical facts, informational flyers, bibliographies, and summaries of selected holdings.
Online Exhibits presented by the Morse Department of Special Collections.

Archives: The practicalities

Archivists want researchers to access information, but they are also committed to preserving these rare documents for future researchers. Be aware that almost any archive you enter is going to have guidelines that you must follow.

You will usually need to sign in and present some kind of identification.

Personal belongings (coats, bags, purses) will be stored outside of the viewing rooms. Some archives have lockers for this purpose. Bring a few quarters in case a deposit is required.

Pencils only!

Most archives use a paging system. That is, instead of open stacks where you can broswe the collections, you tell staff what materials you want to look at and they will bring them out to you. Depending on the archive this can take minutes or days. Calling or emailing the archive ahead of time is a good thing!

No food or drink. Give yourself plenty of time to drink that double raspberry mocha with an extra shot before walking into the archives.

Check with staff about using digital devices and making photocopies. Be prepared with cash to photocopy or a flash drive for scans.

Some archives will have security personnel or other staff who will need to look at everything you bring in and take out of the archive.

Some archives will not permit you to walk into the viewing or reading room with anything apart from money to make copies. In these cases, they will usually provide pencil and scratch paper inside.

Plan ahead and learn about the guidelines for the archive you are visiting well in advance.