What to Expect on a Research Visit

Everett Reading Room view#1

Although most of our research requests come via email or telephone call, many come from visitors to our Congressman Terry Everett Reading Room, pictured above.  If you plan to visit us, what should you expect to encounter?

The first thing to know is that archival materials are unique and cannot be replaced if lost.  Consequently, we take great care to prevent archival items from walking out the door or getting damaged.  We also want to make sure you find everything on your subject, even if it’s not in the Wiregrass Archives.

Tina Bernath, our reference archivist, lays out these steps to the on-site reference visit:

After greeting the patron, we determine what specifically they are looking for.  If no material on the subject is in our holdings, we try to help locate where that information may be.  In many cases, the researcher has too narrow of a search parameter and we try to assist with broader search areas.

For materials in our holdings, we ask visitors to complete a User Registration Form (or pull their form is they have completed one in the last year) and advise then of the Collection Use Policy.    We then ask that any items except cell phone or camera, laptop, and/or pencils be removed from the Reading Room and placed in a locker in our processing area, a secure location.

We then find out the specific box/folder they are interested in.  This may be information they obtained from the Archives website, http://www.troy.edu/wiregrassarchives , or it may be from looking at the in-house finding aid for a collection.

We pull the requested items one box at a time, and bring them to the Reading Room for the patron to work at their own pace.  Pencils and blank paper are proved to take notes.  Some patrons prefer to take pictures with their cell phone or camera, and others enter data directly into a laptop or notebook.

When patrons are finished with the current box, that box is taken back to the shelf and the next box is brought out, if necessary.  If the patron is finished for the day, after removing the archive materials, we allow the patron to retrieve their belongings from the secure location.  We answer any remaining questions, if we can, and then “Thank” them for using our archives.

We look forward to your visit.  Reading Room hours are M-Th 8am – 5:30pm, Friday 8am – 12 noon, or by appointment.

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