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Remote Research in the Archives

The archivists at The New School created this guide to help you navigate the world of researching archives from the safety of your home. We hope you can use these tips into the future when more archives -- including The New School Archives -- re-open for

Using Finding Aids for Remote Research

In our Introduction to Archival Research LibGuide, we discuss how important it is to review a finding aid before you visit an archive. Even if you cannot visit in person, you can still use the information in the finding aid to identify relevant boxes and folders and indicate them in your communications with archivists. Additionally, the Historical Note or Biographical Note in a finding aid may answer some of your questions. 


Some archives websites will link to digitized records from within their finding aids. Even if the records you want aren’t digitized, it is still extremely helpful to the archivist if you know which box and folder interests you. Below is a sample email using this information:


Dear New School Archives,


I saw in your Guide to the Mildred Orrick papers that there are three folders of costume designs for Hamlet. They are in Box 5, Folders 2-4. Are these drawings available online? If not, can someone send me photographs for my research project on Shakespeare productions during the Depression? 




[Your Name Here]