A Final Word/Additional Resources

With good preparation and an understanding of how archives function, archival research can be very rewarding. Archives have incredible materials waiting for you to explore and archivists ready to help. Good luck with your research—wherever it takes you.

Additional Resources

Here are some additional materials, organized by topic, that may be of interest:


The Society of American Archivists Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology, http://www2.archivists.org/glossary. A very thorough resource outlining the terms and definitions used in the archival profession.

“So You Want to be an Archivist: An Overview of the Archival Profession,” http://www2.archivists.org/careers/beanarchivist. Information on what archivists do and a short video on “A Day in the Life of an Archivist.”


Chute, Tamar G., and Ellen D. Swain. “Navigating Ambiguous Waters: Providing Access to Student Records in the University Archives.” American Archivist 67, no. 2 (Fall–Winter 2004): 212–33.

Cox, Dwayne. “The Rise of Confidentiality: State Courts on Access to Public Records during the Mid-twentieth Century.” American Archivist 68, no. 2 (Fall–Winter 2005): 312–22.

Johnson, Catherine A., and Wendy M. Duff. “Chatting Up the Archivist: Social Capital and the Archival Researcher.” American Archivist 68, no. 1 (Spring–Summer 2005): 113–29.

Pugh, Mary Jo. Providing Reference Services for Archives and Manuscripts. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2005.

Ramsey, Alexis E., Wendy B. Sharer, Barbara L'Eplattenier, and Lisa S. Mastrangelo, eds. Working in the Archives: Methods, Sources, Histories. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 2010.

From the conference Access to Archives: The Japanese and American Practices, held in Tokyo, Japan, on May 9–11, 2007:

David J. Mengel, “Access to United States Government Records at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration,” http://www.archivists.org/publications/proceedings/accesstoarchives/07_David_MENGEL.pdf

Mark Greene, “Access to Institutional Archives and Manuscript Collections in U.S. Colleges and Universities,” http://www.archivists.org/publications/proceedings/accesstoarchives/08_Mark_GREENE.pdf

Richard Pearce-Moses, “Caught in the Middle: Access to State Government Records in the United States,” http://www.archivists.org/publications/proceedings/accesstoarchives/09_Richard_Pearce-MOSES.pdf

Becky Haglund Tousey and Elizabeth W. Adkins, “Access to Business Archives: U.S. Access Philosophies,” http://www.archivists.org/publications/proceedings/accesstoarchives/10_B-TOUSEY_E-ADKINS.pdf

Trudy Huskamp Peterson, “Attitudes and Access in the United States of America,” http://www.archivists.org/publications/proceedings/accesstoarchives/11_Trudy_PETERSON.pdf


Merriman, Brenda Dougall. Genealogical Standards of Evidence: A Guide for Family Historians (Genealogist’s Reference Shelf). Toronto: Dundurn, 2010. A best practices methodology guide to genealogy.

Christian, Peter. The Genealogist's Internet. Fourth edition. Surrey, England: National Archives of England, 2009. A book on how to utilize online genealogy resources.

Ancestry.com, www.ancestry.com. One of the world’s largest online family history resources containing historical records, photos, stories, family trees and a collaborative community of millions of people (requires purchase or subscription).

Ellis Island Records, http://www.ellisisland.org/. Online access to various immigration records.

FamilySearch, https://www.familysearch.org/. The largest genealogy organization in the world provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

US Census Records, http://www.archives.gov/research/census/. Locate names, ages, origins, occupations, marital status, and more.

USGenWeb Project, http://www.usgenweb.org/. A group of volunteers working together to provide free genealogy websites for genealogical research in every county and every state of the United States.


Ritzenthaler, Mary Lynn, and Diane L. Vogt-O’Connor. Photographs: Archival Care and Management. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2006.

Ritzenthaler, Mary Lynn, Preserving Archives and Manuscripts. 2nd ed. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2010.

Williams, Don, and Louisa Jagger. Saving Stuff: How to Care for and Preserve Your Collectibles, Heirlooms, and Other Prized Possessions. New York: Fireside, 2005. A reference book on preserving materials at home, written by a senior conservator of the Smithsonian Institution.

Conserve-O-Grams, http://www.nps.gov/museum/publications/conserveogram/cons_toc.html. Brief online guides distributed by the National Park Service that discuss methods of caring for all kinds of materials. See Conserve-O-Gram 19/3 for “Use and Handling of Rare Books.”

CoOL (Conservation OnLine), http://cool.conservation-us.org/. Site sponsored by the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (FAIC) covering a wide variety of conservation topics.

Northeast Document Conservation Center, http://www.nedcc.org/home.php. A website with information and resources regarding the preservation of paper-based materials.

Preservation 101, https://www.nedcc.org/free-resources/preservation-101. An online guide about preservation care for paper and media collections.

Stored Alive, http://www.imagepermanenceinstitute.org/resources/stored-alive. An interactive website showing how time and storage environments impact different objects.