Using University Archives

Getting Started

Everyone (not just archivists and librarians) has a responsibility to help preserve our past for future generations. While using our holdings, we ask researchers to do their part for preservation by following these simple guidelines.

  • Leave all food and drink outside.
  • Please sign our patron register each day upon first entering the reading room.
  • To view books or documents, simply complete a request slip and present it to our reading room staff. We will bring your items to you and give you a brief demonstration on how properly to handle our materials.
  • You may use our holdings only in our reading room. Nothing may be checked out or removed from the room.
  • Leave book bags, briefcases, purses, laptop sleeves, heavy coats, umbrellas, etc., in the lockers and coat rack at the front of the reading room. You may take to your desk only pencils (please, no pens), blank sheets of paper, note cards, notebooks or writing tablets, computers, cameras, and phones (switched to silent mode). We are not responsible for personal belongings left in our reading room.
  • The Reading Room Supervisor will give fifteen minutes notice before closing. We will not retrieve documents after that time. Please begin to wrap up your scanning at this time as well.

How to work with University Archives materials

  • Please sit facing the front of the room. If two persons are sharing a desk, both should sit on the same side and face the front.
  • When practical, please provide University Archives with a courtesy copy of publications or products made possible by research in our holdings.
  • Please make sure that the reading room supervisor has an unobstructed view of your desk. Do not place boxes or other items on your desk so that they block the supervisor's view of your work.
  • Please observe a "one box, one folder" rule. That is, have only one box at a time open on your table and only one file folder out of that box.
  • Keep documents flat on the table. When reading documents, leave them flat on the table, in their file folders, and in the order in which you found them. Do not hold documents while reading them, remove them from their file folders, or change the order of documents within the file folders. Please be particularly careful not to lean on, write on, or place any objects, such as writing paper or note cards, on top of the documents.

What to bring with you when you visit the University Archives

  • A camera. Researchers are welcome to take photographs of most of our holdings as long as they do not use flash and do not disrupt other researchers. We also allow camera tripods.
  • A laptop with power cable. Laptops are welcome in our reading room and electrical outlets are available.
  • Pencils and paper. Ink pens are not allowed in our reading room because of the permanent damage accidental ink stains can cause. We have pencils and a sharpener available if you forget to bring pencils with you. Researchers are allowed to take to their worktables only pencils, paper for taking notes, a camera, and a laptop. Researchers are to place all other personal belongings in lockers at the front of the reading room. We reserve the right to inspect any papers on leaving.
  • A light sweater or jacket. We keep our reading room at a slightly cooler temperature for preservation purposes. If you will be working in our reading room for some time, you may occasionally feel the need for a light sweater.

How to Cite Our Holdings

If you intend to quote or publish from our holdings, please visit our Publication Permission page.

Credit the "Tulane University Archives"

Cite collections in the following manner:

Item description, Collection Name, Collection Number, University Archives, Tulane University Special Collections, New Orleans, LA.

More information about citing archival sources is available here.