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University of Texas University of Texas Libraries

AMS 370: Preserving ATX Queer History

Physical Archives

On Campus


What Are Archives?

The word archives refers to the permanently valuable records, including letters, reports, accounts, minute books, draft and final manuscripts, and photographs. These records are created by people, businesses, organizations, and government. The word archives is also used to refer to the building or part of a building in which archival materials are kept (Society of American Archivists, 2022).

Physical archival repositories, including those on UT's campus, require a visit in person to view and use the materials. Most physical archival collections have an online Finding Aid, which is an inventory of the documents and records held in that collection. While many archival collections are digitizing their material, most physical archives are only available in person, and the online finding aids will help you prepare for a visit ahead of time. Note that they often do NOT link to digitized copies of the materials.

Preparing to Use Physical Archives

Before you visit an archive, it helps to be prepared so you can make the most of your time. The following resource will guide you through what to do ahead of time to get ready for research.

If you have questions about finding archival collections for your research and preparing to use them, contact Gina Bastone, the Humanities Librarian at the PCL. 

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