The University Archives is part of the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation (RBSCP) and is located on the second floor of Rush Rhees Library. The Archives creates rotating exhibits in the Great Hall, and provides classes and special presentations for groups and individuals. While our collections must be used on-site, we are open to the public and welcome everyone.
Please note that some collections have restrictions, but every effort is made to enable access and provide answers--just ask!
All researchers must contact us by email or telephone before visiting, as an appointment is currently required to use the collections. All researchers will be asked to fill out a registration form beforehand or in-person and provide valid photo identification (such as UR ID or a driver's license).
The Archives has hundreds of collections that are described in online finding aids. Each entry gives basic descriptive information about the subject and material in the collection, the size of the collection, and its provenance (how it came to the Archives). Finding aids contain a short description of the collection and, in some cases, a box-by-box or folder-by-folder listing of its contents.
Printed material -- books, maps, newspapers, journals -- is represented by author, title, and subject entries in the library's catalog. The history of the University is also the history of the community, and the department also has a very strong collection of local history (Rochester and Western New York) materials.
● Coats, hats, laptop cases/bags, briefcases, binders, backpacks, purses, notebooks, folders, etc. must be stored in a locker prior to entering the Reading Room. If our lockers are closed, an alternate space will be provided on a table outside the Reading Room.
● Food, drink, and gum are not allowed in the Reading Room.
● Only pencils, laptops, and handheld devices may be used for note-taking. Pens, highlighters, markers, and post-it notes are not permitted. Pencils and loose paper are available if needed.
● The use of a digital camera without flash is permitted pending approval from library staff. Permission may be denied due to collection restrictions and/or preservation concerns. Images should be taken for personal research purposes only. To publish reproductions from our collections, please contact us.
● Any violations of copyright law are the responsibility of the researcher, not the University of Rochester.
● Theft, destruction, or mutilation of the materials is a crime. Violaters will be prosecuted.
● We reserve the right to search any notes or personal belongings at any time.
● Please silence cell phones and similar electronic devices and be considerate of other researchers.
● Handling instructions will be provided. Please maintain the original order of unbound material.
● The quantity of material (files, boxes, or books) made available to registered users is at the discretion of library staff and may vary. Staff reviews materials before and after use.