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Archives and Special Collections: Archival Research Tips

An introduction to the materials available in Clark University's Archives and Special Collections.

What is an Archives?

An Archive retains mostly unpublished materials, like letters, records, diaries, meeting minutes, etc.  Unlike a Library, access to an Archive is usually restricted, and a staff member retrieves items for your use. Collections of materials in an Archive is typically organized according to creator, while a library collection is usually organized by subject.

While an Archive contains historical and unpublished materials, a Special Collections maintains rare and unusual materials.

Clark University's Archives and Special Collections offers a wide array of university history and rare materials that are available for research.


  • University History and Photographs
  • Student Records
  • Faculty Papers
  • Athletics and Club Records
  • Scarlets & Yearbooks

Special Collections

  • Early Printed Books
  • Worcester History Collections
  • Manuscript Collections
  • Papers of Significant Historical Figures
  • Rare Books

If this is your first visit to an Archives, you can use some of the linked resources below to help you prepare!

Doing Archival Research. Gray background with white text, circle with a computer and a lit lightbulb.

Primary vs. Secondary Sources.  Gray background, white text, and a circle with a magnifying glass.

Citing Archival Sources. Gray background with white text, a circle with a paper and pencil.