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William S. Scarborough Archives : On-Site Research

Planning Your Visit

All requests to visit the archives must be in writing. Researchers must submit a completed On-Site Research Request Form.  You will be directed to a confirmation page once you submit your On-Site Research Request Request Form that will allow you to save or print a copy of your submitted form. A library staff member will subsequently reach out through email once your request to conduct on-site research has been reviewed.

Researchers are required to complete and submit a Research Request Form at least one week before the appointment date (more time is always encouraged if possible). For large requests, one week may not be adequate time to fill research requests. This form will allow the archivist to gather the materials necessary for research prior to the research visit. Walk-ins are discouraged as they do not always give the archivist time to locate requested materials. 

The Scarborough Archives are located on the second floor of the Stokes building. Please inform the library staff if you need special accommodations.  There is currently no digital access to the archival collections. We are working to create a box list for the collections. Items in the collections must remain in the library and do not circulate. 

Hours of Operation

Day Time
Sunday Closed
Monday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Thursday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Friday Closed
Saturday Closed

Allowable items in Reading Room

Only the following items are permitted for use in the reading room: 

  • Pencils (no pens) 

  • Notebooks 

  • Paper 

  • Laptop computers 

  • Digital cameras (absolutely NO flash photography) 

  • Cell phones for photography purposes only. No phone calls please.

Wilberforce University will not provide any of the above listed items, you must furnish your own materials. Please leave other items to be locked in the Archivist’s offices. You may leave them in your vehicle if you do not want to bring them inside the building. Examples of items not allowed in the reading room include bags, purses, food, drinks, pens, coats, jackets, and scanners. 

Archives usage: 

Use of archival materials will be done under supervision of library staff at all times. 

Upon arrival, visitors will be required to fill out a sign-in sheet, providing name, contact information, and a short description of the project. Only your name will be required for any additional follow-up visits for the same project. Please arrive with washed hands; bathrooms are located down the hall from the library doors, towards the King building. 

Photographs can be taken of materials used in the reading room, but must be for personal use and personal research only.  Pictures can be taken with a cell phone or camera. Ensure that flash is turned off, as it may damage older items.  Taking a photograph of archival materials does not provide the user with copyright of that photograph, nor does it allow the researcher license to publish the images without the permission of Wilberforce University. 

Personal scanners are not permitted, as they may damage items in the collections.  Scanning can be done at the discretion of the library staff and is subject to the electronic scanning fees.

Masks must be worn properly by all researchers at all times, regardless of vaccination status. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or other communicable disease, please email library staff to reschedule your appointment date. 

Absolutely NO food or beverages are allowed in the reading room while archival materials are being used. This includes beverages with lids. Visitors must leave the reading room when consuming beverages. 

Unprocessed collections will not be available for research unless permission is granted by the archivist. 

The Wilberforce University reserves the right to deny access to the archives and archival materials if the above rules are not followed. 

Handling of Archival Materials

Wilberforce University archival materials are special, sensitive, and often fragile.  Please do not lean on, fold, bend, underline, trace, apply sticky notes to, or otherwise damage materials. No marks may be added or erased. Please lay materials flat on the table to prevent damage. Do not lay any items on top of materials, unless using the paper weights provided. Please do not write on paper laid on top of books even if the book is closed, as this can damage the cover. Book cradles are available upon request. All AME Review books, and books deemed as “rare” will require a book cradle to be viewed. 

Please do not re-arrange or otherwise change the organization of the materials in the collections. Papers and folders should be placed back in the same order they were taken out. Inform the archivist if and when you are finished with materials. Arrangements for future use can be discussed with the archivist before or immediately after the visit. Researchers may only view one (1) box at a time. Other boxes are to be left on the cart provided when not in use. Up to five (5) boxes may be requested for use at one time. Inform the archivist when you are ready for more boxes. 

Records are not to be removed from the archives room or the library, as this will be seen as theft from Wilberforce University. Any research is to be conducted solely in the reading room of the Scarborough Archives. 

Any issues with materials can be brought to the attention of the archivist. 

Wilberforce University Rembert E. Stokes Library & Information Commons

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