Onsite Archive

Finding Aid

The Finding Aid is the document that you and the archivist will use when you visit the archive.

To begin:

SEARCH: Identify the focus of your inquiry (e.g., Jewish identity, Holocaust, miscegenation, performance art, content-based art critiques) as this will help you and archivists to identify which boxes for you to explore. For example, if you are interested in video of Judy Chicago’s teaching how to translate personal content into art you would look at contents listed under each of the 11 teaching projects such as:

  • (8/17 At Home and Womanhouse DVD 2004 1 No Moving Image.Digital.DVD-R. Paterno/GST/AQ/04.14)
  • (Evoke, Invoke, Provoke 2006 1 No Moving Image. Digital.DVC Mini. Paterno/GST/AQ/04.16)

IDENTIFY: There is a general description of the items, but each box contains many items not listed in the general description. This is part of the fun and excitement of archival research; you never know what interesting item you may come across when looking through the boxes requested. In the last column is the identification code you’ll need to request the box of materials: e.g,, Paterno/GST/AQ/04.16. This means the items are stored in the Paterno Library, but an archivist will gather the requested boxes for your visit to archives.

REQUEST: Make your request using AEON (https://aeon.libraries.psu.edu/logon). Or, with the access code information you are requesting call (814) 865-7931 to have the boxes ready for you on arrival, or ask for help in person at the archivist’s desk when you arrive. Check here for information on hours and for library map to find Special Collections. Also, some items may be stored off site. To ensure the items will be there for you ASK for the achival materials a few days before you go.

VISIT: When you arrive the receptionist will provide a key to a locker for your coat and backpack. You may take your laptop, paper, PENCILS, camera, jump drive, and library safe ONLY coffee mug with you to the comfy, well lit, sound proof, reading room or in the Audio/Video room where the archival boxes you have requested will be make available to you.

STUDY: The archivists at the reference desk or summoned from their offices will help you with any questions you may have, such as scanning or copying images. Scanners, copiers, and computers are all on site. Not all things can be copied, especially fragile items so it is best to ask first. Your items may also be saved for you on the cart for a period of time, if you intend to work on them for several days.

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