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Manuscripts and Archives (Repository) Subject Guides: Using Our Collections

Helpful information and subject guides to primary resources in Manuscripts and Archives.

Classes Welcome

Manuscripts and Archives also offers instruction sessions for classes and groups upon request. The sessions include an introduction to archival research and explanations on how to search the department's manual and electronic catalogs, finding aids, and other databases. In addition, specialized instruction in locating materials on specific topics or areas of interest can be scheduled.

Instructors interested in bringing a class to the department should contact us before the start of the semester. For additional information contact Diane Kaplan at (203) 432-1069 or at

Helpful Information--Page under construction

The collections and resources of Manuscripts and Archives are open to the public, subject to the Terms Governing Use of Departmental Holdings. Before visiting the department, we suggest writing or calling in advance to ensure the availability of records relevant to your research.

Personal reference assistance and research instruction is available in the department's Cowles Reference Center. Researchers may also make an appointment with a specific reference staff member.

Quick Tips


For those unfamiliar with conducting research in Manuscripts and Archives, here are a few quick tips

  • Individuals who wish to conduct research in Manuscripts and Archives must first register with us by filling out an online registration form, showing two forms of identification including one with a picture, and agreeing to our Terms Governing Use of Departmental Holdings. You can do this when you arrive.
  • Archival research takes time! For various reasons including off-site storage, difficulties of deciphering handwritten documents, the volume of documents, and limited repository hours, research in archival repositories can take longer than anticipated.  So be sure to give yourself some extra time.
  • Call slips need to be placed in advance.  With a few exceptions our materials are shelved off-site and retrieved on a set schedule. Call slips must be placed in person--Sorry there is no electronic call slip available, however, staff of Manuscripts and Archives can place call slips on your behalf if necessary.
  • Our materials cannot be checked out of the repository, plan to conduct your research in our reading room, pay for photocopes, or bring a camera (no flash) to make copies.

For additional useful information, please visit the Information for Researchers page on our website.

Those interested in self-paced general instruction in methods for locating primary source material at Yale, particularly in Manuscripts and Archives, are encouraged to review Using Manuscripts and Archives: A Tutorial.