All processed archives collections are open for on-site, in-person research use free of charge by appointment. The UHEC welcomes all researchers, including high school students and elementary school students ages 10 and above. Minors should have a chaperone, and children under 10 years of age are not permitted in research areas. All researchers will need to fill out a registration form and must abide by the UHEC Archives rules and regulations. Depending on researcher needs, we may be able to accomodate remote researchers and provide limited on-demand digitization. Please contact the archives.

How to find information in archives

Unlike in library cataloging, archives do not attempt to create a complete inventory of all of the items held in the repository, as that would be a nearly impossible task. Instead, materials are grouped into "collections", which are typically records of an organization, family, or individual that have been created or accumulated through the course of their lives or activities.

Each collection is described in a "finding aid", which contains critical information about who created or assembled it, their biographical and historical context, the types of materials present, the date rage of record keeping that gave rise to the collection, the physical extent of the records (in linear feet), the language(s) of the materials, and how the collection is organized (its "arrangement"). Below that is administrative information, followed by an inventory of the boxes and folders that contain the materials, possibly with additional description and other details. When you search in a finding aid, you are not searching the actual archival documents, but only a higher-level description of groups of those documents.

To effectively find information in an archives, you have to think from the point of view of how the records were created. In other words, you need to consider who might have created, received, or saved records related to the topic and time period that you are interested in. For example, if you are interested in finding letters written by a certain famous individual, you would actually need to think about who that individual might have written to, as that is who might have saved the letters.

Archives research is in general much more difficult than looking things up in books or on the Internet, since often neither you nor even the archivist knows whether the information you are looking for even exists in a given collection, and it may be necessary to slog through many folders (or boxes) of papers to find out.

If you have any questions about archival research, or how to interpret a finding aid, please feel free to contact

Browse all of the finding aids for the UHEC's open collections.

Getting the materials

Researchers must contact the archives staff to discuss their needs and to arrange visit date(s). All archives access is by appointment only, and arrangements must be made directly with the archives staff ( All researchers are required to complete, sign, and return a registration form prior to their arrival at the Center. Researchers must present a photo ID and agree to abide by the Center's rules and regulations.

The Center is easy to get to by car or public transit, and there are are numerous hotels and restaurants within easy driving or walking distance. If you are unable to come in person, the archives staff may be able to provide limited research services (depending on their schedule and availability) or generate reproductions of materials for a fee.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of the UHEC's holdings are not digitized or accessible online. Here's why.