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Using Archives & Manuscripts

Overview of using archives and manuscripts, including tips for research visits, handling materials, and quoting and citing in academic work or publications.

Finding Archival Collections

There are three main ways to find archival collections at Bobst Library:

1) Search Finding Aids

Researchers may search the finding aids of Fales Library, New York University Archives, Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, and the New-York Historical Society Library (not part of NYU Special Collections) together or separately. 

2) Learn More about Collecting Areas

Visit the Special Collections page on the Bobst Library website to link to collection websites.

3) Contact the Library

The archivists and librarians in the Special Collections can help you navigate their holdings and help streamline your research.  They will also alert you to any restrictions that may affect your use of particular materials.

Unprocessed Collections:

Almost every special collection holds unprocessed, uncataloged collections as well as processed collections that may be described in a paper finding aid, inventory, calendar or other document that is available only by visiting the library.  Some repositories allow researchers to use unprocessed collections, while others do not, so contact the staff of the collection to find out about the availability of specific materials. 

Search BobCat for Archives

BobCat contains collection-level records for cataloged archival collections. 

To streamline search results in BobCat: 

  • Choose "Archival Materials" from the drop-down list of search limit options
  • Search by Author/Creator, Keyword, or Subject to find collections
  • Follow links to electronic finding aids for processed collections, where available

Reference Assistance

It is always a good idea to consult a special collection's website and contact library staff before you visit to find out about access policies and to make certain that the collections you need will be available to you. 

Archivists and librarians can help you navigate finding aids and offer research assistance. 

NYU Special Collections.