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Archival Research @ UGA Special Collections: A How-To Guide: Things To Know Before You Go

Did you know?

The Russell Special Collections Building sits on a 30,000 square foot vault that is over 30 feet underground. The temperature remains at 50 degrees Farenheit and 30 percent humidity to extend the life of the paper within by 4 times. 

Moving the Libraries

Policies and Procedures

Since items in archives and special collections are generally one-of-a-kind and unique, we devote a lot of time and resources to making sure that everyone can use them. This means that there are some things that we'll ask you to do to make sure that the collections stick around for as long as possible. 

1) Show ID: When you visit for the first time, we're going to ask to see your ID. Why? To make sure that you are you! School ID, Driver's License, Passport, or Military ID are all acceptable forms of identification.

2) Lockers provided: We don't allow bags, purses or coats in the reading room. We will provide you a key and locker to store your personal belongings.

3) Use pencil, not pen: Pencil can be erased. Ink is forever. 

4) No food or drink allowed: Spills and archival materials do not mix.  Feel free to take a lunch or snack break should you need to step away from the reading room.  

5) Cameras are allowed: You are permitted to photograph materials in the reading room (no flash photography).  You will be asked to fill out a form stating you understand copyright.

6) Remember to cite: Don't forget to write down what collection, box number, and folder number that extra-special document you found was in. It's difficult to find again "the letter that the lady wrote to that guy in the 1930s" when there are literally millions of sheets of paper in our underground vault. (That said, your online research account does keep track of what boxes you use; document folder numbers, though!)

7) Parking in the Hull Street DeckParking for off-campus visitors is available in the Hull Street deck. Enter at the south entrance near Baxter Street. Library visitors can bypass the pay machine on the 3rd level and proceed directly to the front desk inside Special Collections to sign in with their vehicle tag numberPlease note that UGA faculty, staff, and students cannot utilize this validation system, and should pay the hourly rate at the pay machine in order to avoid a citation.


Your Library

Did you know?

About 1,800 clay tablets dating from 2500 to 2250 BCE were discovered in the ancient city of Ebla (in modern Syria) in 1974-75. An archive consisting of two rooms was maintained near the palace audience hall and was divided into two sections: government records and religious and literary texts.

The Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library contains clay tablets from Babylon dating from 560 to 527 BCE.