01 August 2012

Planning a Visit to an Archive? Here's some Invaluable Guidance

At some juncture in our research, we are all a “newbie” to visiting an archive or library, whether in the US, Canada or anywhere in the world!  The National Archives (UK) has posted a nice summary of a few key steps you can take to make sure that you have a successful visit to “any” archive!

It’s obvious from the comments, tweets and other feedback that we’ve had about our blog that its readers are a diverse group. Some of you have a lot of experience of doing research and others have none.

This post is mainly aimed at readers with little or no experience of visiting archives to use original, paper records, but who think that they would like to do so. If you’re thinking of visiting The National Archives [UK] or another archives at some stage, you might find it useful to bear in mind the following hints...

Read the complete post

For a more detailed perspective on visiting archives, check out this older Upfront with NGS post, Guide to Visiting Archives.

And, the Library and Archives Canada also has an online publication, Using Archives: A Practical Guide for Researchers.

I was thinking of asking you, the readers, what would be the “1” tip you would give someone visiting an archive for the 1st time?  Except, I’m not sure, what my advice would be if I was limited to “1” tip?!?!  Maybe you are not as challenged as I, as to an answer!  If not, please post a comment with your “1” tip for someone visiting an archive (or a “new-to-them” archive) for the 1st time!

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  1. Take pencils, not pens

  2. My number one tip for someone visiting an Archive whether or not it is their first time... at the end of your visit be sure to take the time to go thank the staff for help they have provided. I also leave a thank you card to let them know how much their help was appreciated.

    Salli Rice
    Hope, BC