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Archives Guide

Pathway to Archives

So, you have a great idea for research.  Now what do you do?  Actually, the Library is a great place to start before you come to the Archives.

1.      Check the library 

Begin your research by reading quickly through the available secondary sources – books, journal articles, etc. – that may be relevant to your topic. Then, formulate a question that will drive your research.

2.      Check for References

After defining a question, go back to your secondary sources. Check the footnotes/endnotes and bibliography.

Ø  Are there other sources provided that will help you with your research?

Ø  Do these sources contain references to primary sources (i.e., original documents, photographs, etc.) that may be relevant?

Ø  Can these primary sources be found in the University of Calgary Archives and Special Collections?

3.      Prepare for Archives

Come to the Reading Room of Archives and Special Collections. Bring with you your question, secondary sources that direct you to primary sources, and your ideas about primary sources that may be found at the UofC. You may have also found archival sources by searching the Library’s catalogue; bring that information too.

4.      Plan your time

Remember – plan to spend up to an hour on your first visit to the Reading Room. You may also wish to make an appointment to discuss your research with an Archivist. After that, you can work with the Archivist to find local primary sources to assist your research.

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