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University of Connecticut University Libraries Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

Frequently Asked Questions


I have a question about one of your collections, or I want copies from a collection, but I do not know who to contact. How do I submit a question?

The best way to send a question is to do so to our reference service at archives@uconn.edu. The reference staff will either answer it themselves or send it to the appropriate archivist for a response. If you want copies from the collections you may want to check the Reproduction page first, at http://doddcenter.uconn.edu/asc/research/reproduction.htm, for information on the type of duplication we can do, and our fees for these services.


How can I contact an Archives & Special Collections staff member?

You may call, write, or email a staff member. The staff directory displays names, titles, telephone numbers, and email addresses of Archives & Special Collections staff. The University of Connecticut Libraries directory has information for all library staff, including the regional campuses. If you are not sure who to contact, please call the Reference Desk at 860.486.2524, Monday-Friday, 9am-4:30pm.


What kinds of materials are in Archives & Special Collections?

Archives & Special Collections, a unit of the University of Connecticut Libraries, houses primary research materials including manuscript collections, specialized serials collections, and rare and spcial books. The Collections by Subject page describes the major collecting areas of Archives & Special Collections.


How do I find books and published items in the collections?

Most books, films, serials, and manuscript collections are cataloged in the University of Connecticut Libraries online cataglog, HOMER.
To search for only Archives & Special Collections materials, click on the "Advanced Search" tab in HOMER.

Then, click "Set Limits Before You Search " in the lower right corner.  That will bring you to a new menu.  In the Location box, scroll down and select "Dodd/Archives & Special Collections", and then click "Set Limits."


How do I search for manuscript collections?

You can search HOMER for catalog records of manuscript collections, or you can browse finding aids for collections in the Alphabetical List of All Collections or Collections by Subject page.


What materials do you have online?

We are building a digital presence and our digital collections are now available online at http://archives.lib.uconn.edu/. You can either do a direct search for items through the search box or browse the materials by their named collections. We're adding to this database as quickly as we can so keep checking for new content.


Where is the Archives & Special Collections located?

We are located in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center on the University of Connecticut campus in Storrs, Connecticut, on Whitney Road, just south of Homer Babbidge Library. The mailing address is 405 Babbidge Road, Unit 1205, Storrs, Connecticut, 06269-1205. The closest parking area to the Dodd Research Center is the South Campus Garage. Please refer to the Lodewick Visitors Center website for directions and maps of the Storrs campus.


What are the Dodd Research Center's hours?

The Dodd Research Center building and the exhibit gallery are open Mondays through Fridays, 8:30a.m. to 4:30p.m. The hours of the McDonald Reading Room are Mondays through Fridays, 9:00a.m. to 4:30p.m. Please check our hours page for possible changes to the schedule, especially around holiday or semester breaks.


Are the Archives & Special Collections materials available for use by the public?

Yes. Archives & Special Collections is open to the public, in addition to the University of Connecticut community. All patrons are required to complete the Application for Use of Materials (19KB PDF) and show valid picture identification. Groups are requested to make prior arrangements with the staff when planning a visit.


May I check out materials from Archives & Special Collections?

Materials in Archives & Special Collections do not circulate and must be viewed in the McDonald Reading Room. The Reading Room Policy governs conduct in the reading room and is designed to secure and protect materials for future use. Access to materials is subject to any restrictions placed on materials by donors or by the Archives & Special Collections staff for preservation purposes. Researchers may be required to use reference copies in place of originals. Archivists are able to advise you regarding the availability of particular collections or materials.


How do I schedule an archival instruction session for my class?

Archivists can conduct archival instruction, orientations, tours, or classes on a variety of topics relevant to the materials held in Archives & Special Collections. Contact Laura Smith to schedule a tour.


How do I schedule an event in the Dodd Research Center?

Space in the Dodd Research Center is available to University of Connecticut departments, associations and organizations. To request information about rooms, reservations and fees contact here.


Will the Archives & Special Collections staff do research for me?

The Archives & Special Collections staff will answer reference questions and coordinate reproduction requests, but does not perform extensive research. If you are unable to visit the library, please contact the appropriate archivist for research options.


Is funding available for travel to Connecticut to conduct research in Archives & Special Collections?

Yes. Archives & Special Collections has a limited amount of funding for travel grants for researchers to access our collections. Information on travel grants is available here. Applications for travel grants are accepted on a rolling basis, but should be submitted at least 2 months before the intended date of travel.


May I go into the stacks to browse the shelves?

No. Archives & Special Collections is a closed stack library, and only library staff can enter the stacks. Researchers may request books and manuscript collections from the Reference Desk for use in the John P. McDonald Reading Room only.


Does the Archives & Special Collections staff offer tours of the building?

Yes, by appointment only. Please contact Laura Smith to make arrangements.


What is the Archives & Special Collections's reproduction policy?

Reproductions are made available for research, teaching and private study. Permission to reproduce materials in for-profit or not-for-profit publications or to use reproductions for any commercial purpose must be obtained in writing. Reproductions are made available for one-time use for the purpose stated in the Reproduction Request Form. Reproductions may not be further copied or made available to another researcher without prior permission. Each researcher must assume full responsibility for any legal questions that may arise as a result of use of the reproductions. A free copy of all resulting publications is to be presented to Archives & Special Collections as soon as the work is published. Credit shall be given to Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut Libraries.


May I photocopy or photograph materials in the collections?

There are no public photocopiers in Archives & Special Collections. Reproduction is available for a fee if the materials are stable. Archives & Special Collections will not photocopy whole works or large quantities of manuscripts from a collection, and all copies are made at the discretion of the archivist for the collection. Researchers may use their own film/digital cameras in the reading room, but must first consult with the curator for the collection and complete the Reproduction Request Form. Some collection materials are too fragile to be subjected to any reproduction process.

Reproductions may not be further copied or made available to other researchers or institutions. Supplying or obtaining a reproduction is not an authorization to publish.

Detailed information on reproduction services, including forms, fees, and policies can be found here (under Research Services on the website.)


Do I need permission from the Archives & Special Collections to publish its holdings?

Yes. Permission to examine materials is not an authorization to publish from them. A separate written request for permission to publish must be made to Archives & Special Collections identifying the items to be published. Further permissions to publish must be obtained from the owner(s) of the copyright. Researchers who plan eventual publication of their work should inquire about possible copyright restrictions. Each researcher must assume full responsibility for any legal questions that may arise as a result of use of materials. A free copy of all publications is to be presented to Archives & Special Collections as soon as the work is published. Exclusive rights to examine or publish materials will not be granted.


What are the policies for the McDonald reading room?

The McDonald reading room policies are comparable to the rules of other special libraries and research centers. Researchers should familiarize themselves with these policies before handling library materials.


May I use a laptop computer in the McDonald reading room?

Laptops are allowed in the McDonald Reading Room; however the cases and all other bags must remain outside the reading room. The public spaces in the Dodd Research Center have Wi-Fi access.


How do I determine the value of my books?

The Archives & Special Collections staff are not appraisers. Professional appraisers and booksellers can authenticate and evaluate your books and documents.


How do I find a bookseller or appraiser?

Professional book appraisers and most booksellers appraise and evaluate books and other documents. Archives & Special Collections staff cannot provide recommendations or refferals to appraisers. Professional appraisers can be located by contacting organizations such as the the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, American Society of Appraisers or International Society of Appraisers.


How can I donate to Archives & Special Collections?

Archives & Special Collections acquires most of its collections as gifts from individuals or organizations or as transfers of official records from the University of Connecticut departments, schools and divisions. AS&C has a limited budget which is used to add to existing holdings and to acquire reference materials. Any additional funds available for the acquisition of collections are used to purchase materials to support identified and prioritized collections.

To make a financial contribution, please contact the University of Connecticut Libraries Development office, or contact Greg Colati, Director of University Archives & Special Collections at 860.486.4501.

The Archives & Special Collections Collection Development Policy provides information about active collecting areas. Please contact the Director or appropriate curator for further information.