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College Archives: Library or Archives?

Library or Archives?

Library or Archives?

The difference between items in archives and libraries is like the difference between primary and secondary sources.  Archives hold original photographs, correspondence, meeting minutes, reports, etc. (primary sources), while libraries hold more books and published journals (secondary sources).

Library Archives
•uses an online catalog that lists every single item in the collection. •uses finding aids with folder or box level information, not each item.
•write down item's call number, then walk to the shelves to retrieve it and to browse. •fill out a request form, and then a librarian or archivist will retrieve the folder(s).
•the item (let's say book) is stand-alone, even though its author published others, or cites other books/articles. •the folders are more useful when you know about their context (other material).

If you are looking for more general historical, factual, or biographical information, or for written narratives or analysis, the resources in a library may better answer your research questions.