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Visit the Drexel University Archives

Access During COVID-19 (Last update: June 1, 2021)

University Archives staff are currently working on campus for a limited number of hours per week and will fulfill researcher requests for digitized materials whenever possible. Researchers whose inquiries are time-sensitive and cannot be completed with digitized material should contact archives@drexel.edu to discuss their options.

All visitors to the University Archives reading room must make an appointment by emailing archives@drexel.edu. Visitors must comply with all of Drexel’s public health policies and procedures and accept The Dragon Pledge. Currently enrolled students and employed Drexel faculty and staff must use a current Drexel ID to enter the building. All other visitors (individuals who are not students, faculty or Drexel professional staff) must follow the University’s current Visitor Guidelines.

Archives staff are available to answer questions and provide remote research consultations, consultations about donating or transferring records to the Archives, rights and reproductions support, and advice about implementing the University’s Records Management policy.

Visit the Drexel University Libraries' COVID-19 page for the latest information and updates about our resources, services and access to facilities during COVID-19. 


Visiting the University Archives

The University Archives is located on the lower level of the W. W. Hagerty Library. Researchers and members of the Drexel community may visit the reading room to view our non-circulating physical materials. Please read the rules and guidelines below before your visit. Following these guidelines helps preserve our archival materials. 

Plan Your Visit  

All visitors are required to make an appointment before visiting the University Archives so we can have your materials ready when you arrive. If you are not sure which materials you would like to look at, you may find it helpful to search our finding aids.

Non-Drexel affiliated visitors must provide photo identification upon entering the Library. Please bring valid identification, such as a driver’s license, state I.D. or passport. 

Because our materials are valuable and sometimes fragile, they cannot be checked out. All materials must be viewed in the reading room. 

We also limit the kinds of items you may bring into our reading room. Pencils, loose paper, laptops, cell phones and cameras (no flash!) are welcome. We will provide a secure space for your other items.  

If the material you want to access is born digital (originally on CD or floppy disk, or otherwise created on a computer), the procedure for accessing it may be slightly different. We can send some born-digital materials to you electronically to access at home. But in other cases, you may have to visit the reading room and use one of our computers to access the files (for example, if the materials you want to see are in obsolete formats, need older software to view/run, or have privacy or other concerns that limit public access). In this case, we will let you know when you email us to schedule an appointment and will create a plan for accessing specific materials. 

Reading Room Rules & Policies 

We have a number of rules and guidelines in the Archives which are meant to help preserve the archival materials. Almost everything in our collections is rare or unique, and we want to take good care of all materials so that researchers can continue to use them for many years to come. 

  • Eating and drinking is not permitted in the reading room.
  • All visitors must wash their hands before handling any archival material. If you will be looking at photos, we will provide cotton or nitrile gloves since our skin has oils, even when recently washed, that damage photos. 
  • Use only one folder at a time and mark the location of anything you wish to revisit later using the provided paper slips. Please keep the contents of a folder in the order you found them and return folders to their original location in the box.
  • You can take photos without flash, but only for personal reference purposes. If you want to publish material–which includes posting to a website or social media–please let us know. We will let you know if there are any copyright restrictions, and we will provide a 'permission to publish' form if relevant. We can provide high-quality scans for a limited amount of material.