Skip to main content

University Archives: Visiting the Archives

The University Archives collects, preserves, and makes available the records of Susquehanna University that have historic value. This guide will help you discover, access and interpret historical information and images.

Visiting the Archives

Accessing the Records: The University Archives contains unique and irreplaceable records of the history of Susquehanna University. Because of the value and rarity of these materials, special rules for the use of the collection are needed to ensure that these items will continue to be available and in good condition.

Types of Questions: There are, in general, two types of questions that are asked in the context of archival reference: ready-reference and in-depth research questions.

Ready reference questions are questions that seek specific facts or figures. Examples:

  • Who played in which positions on the SU football team in 1985?
  • What were the costs of tuition and fees at SU for 1992-1993?
  • Who was the editor of the yearbook in 1945?

Persons seeking answers to ready reference questions are requested to contact the Archives Assistant before visiting the Archives to verify that the documents containing the answers to their questions are held in the Archives.

In-depth research questions are questions that may require an extended period of searching in multiple collections. Examples:

  • How did SU students react to World War II?
  • What is the history of theatrical productions at SU?
  • What were some of the early SU student traditions?

In order to use materials in the SU Archives for in-depth research, researchers are requested to contact the Archives Assistant with their research request at least 1 business day before visiting the Archives, in order to discuss the subject and scope of their research and to set a date and time for their initial visit to the Archives. This consultation is intended to maximize the researchers time in the archives and also to reserve a space at a reading table for the researcher. Researchers who visit the archives without a preliminary consultation are not guaranteed that they will be able to perform their research at the time of their visit. Research requests should include the following information:

  • Name of researcher and statement of affiliation with the university
  • Contact details (phone number, e-mail, campus address/postal address)
  • Date and time of proposed visit
  • Subject of research, including date span, if known ·
  • Intended use of material (publication, private research, etc.)

Research requests may be submitted to the Archives via phone, email, campus mail, or regular mail.

Researchers Outside the SU Community: Independent researchers seeking materials unique to the SU archives may also submit research requests to the Archives Assistant. External research requests should include the following information: ·

  • Name and affiliation of researcher
  • Contact details (phone number, e-mail, postal address)
  • Subject of research, including date span, if known
  • Intended use of material (publication, private research, etc.)

The Archives Assistant will respond to all research queries within two business days. Requests will be evaluated individually, and research will be performed as time and personnel allows. In general, Archives staff will be able to perform up to 30 minutes of research for an approved query, and make up to 5 pages of photocopies. If the query will require more than 30 minutes of research, Archives staff will notify external researchers that any additional time spent will be charged at a rate of $15 per hour. Photocopies in excess of 5 pages will be charged at a rate of .25 per page, and a minimum of $5 shipping and handling charge will be assessed for all photocopied materials mailed to researchers.

On the Day(s) of Your Visit: Researchers using the Archives should arrive on-time for scheduled appointments, and should contact the Archives if they will not be able to attend at their scheduled time or if they will be more than 30 minutes late. If the delay exceeds 30 minutes, it is possible that the appointment may have to be rescheduled. Upon arriving at the Archives, researchers will sign the log in book, and take a seat at the reading table. They may retain a notebook and pencil. NO pens are allowed near archival materials. Laptop computers are also acceptable recording devices. The materials they have requested will be brought to them by a member of Archives staff. The materials will be examined by a member of Archives staff both before and after use by the researcher. Materials being used on an ongoing basis will be stored on shelves near the reading area, and labeled with the researchers name. Researchers engaging in long-term projects in the Archives have the option of making standing appointments to visit on specific days and times on a regular basis.

Circulation and Photocopying: Due to their rarity and uniqueness, archival materials do not circulate under any circumstances, and may be only be used in the Archives. However, it is usually possible to photocopy archival documents so they can be used elsewhere. While most archival materials can be photocopied, some can not, due to age or deterioration. Before photocopying materials from the SU Archives, please present the materials to a member of Archives staff for evaluation.

Special Notes: Researchers may not, under any circumstances, enter the stacks and attempt to retrieve their own materials. If additional information is required, the researcher should alert a member of Archives staff who will retrieve the requested items. Direct access to the records in the stacks is permitted ONLY by members of Archives and Library staff. Permission to open the Archives to researchers is granted ONLY by Archives and Library staff. 

Rules and Expectations

  1. Access to the Archives is by appointment basis only. Please contact Meg Garnett by email at garnett@susqu.edu or by phone at 570-372-4327 no less than 24 hours ahead of your planned visit.
  2. Archives appointment hours by appointment.
  3. If there is no-one at the Archives desk when you arrive, please alert us to your presence by knocking or calling out to us. If no-one appears, please ask the Service Desk on the first floor.
  4. After arrival, always sign the Archives log book. Also, when leaving, always sign out of the Archives log book.
  5. No food or drink is allowed in the archives at any time.
  6. Please allow Archives staff to assist you by retrieving the materials you wish to use. Please do not enter the stacks by yourself.
  7. Please wear the provided gloves when handling archival photographs.
  8. No pens are permitted near archival materials. Pencils will be provided if you do not have one.
  9. Please do not lean on archival materials or push on stubborn bindings; they are fragile and easily torn or broken. If you are having difficulty utilizing materials, please notify a member of Archives staff.
  10. Archival materials do not circulate. If you need to access materials outside of the Archives, copies can be made on the Archives scanner. The Archives also grants researchers the privilege of using their personal digital cameras to make digital copies of materials. For the protection of the archival materials, flash photography is prohibited.