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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What's in the Archives and Special Collections Department?
The Archives and Special Collections Department houses and makes available the historical records created by colleges, centers, administrative units, and selected individuals and outside organizations with ties to Northeastern University. Research guides or finding aids for Northeastern University Collections that have been organized are accessible on the web.

The Department also preserves the history of Boston’s African American, Chinese, LGBTQ, Latino and other communities, as well as Boston’s public infrastructure, neighborhoods, and natural environments. Research guides or finding aids for Boston History Collections that have been organized are accessible on the web.

All materials in the collections are non-circulating and can only be used in the Archives Reading Room, 92 Snell Library.

2. Where are you located, and when are you open?
The Archives and Special Collections Department is open 8:30am-5pm Monday through Friday and is located on the lower level of Snell Library in room 92. To enter the Library, you will need a picture id.

3. I'm not affiliated with Northeastern; may I still access the collections?
Yes, anyone can use the materials in the Archives and Special Collections Department during our business hours.

4. Do I need to make an appointment?
No, an appointment is not required, but we will be better prepared for your visit if you let us know when to expect you.

5. What may I bring with me?
Researchers may bring laptops, non-flash cameras, pencils, and loose notes. All backpacks, briefcases, purses, and notebooks must be stored in one of the Archives' lockers while working in the Reading Room.

6. May I take photographs of the material or request scans?
Photographs
Patrons must seek approval from the University Archivist before photographing any material. Photographs are solely for the personal use of the individual requesting them, and patrons are required to sign a Duplication Agreement.

Low Resolution Scanning
The Archives offers low resolution scanning. All material from archival or special collections will be scanned by Department staff. Low resolution scans made by Department staff cost $0.25 each for 1-100 scans and $0.30 each for each scan over 100.

There are three delivery options, scans may be:

  • Emailed in 15MB increments to the patron.
  • Saved to flash drives or storage devices supplied by the patron.
  • Burned to a CD and mailed to the patron for an additional fee of $4.00. The minimum total fee is $5.00 per order.

All low resolution scanning will be done in accordance with the University Libraries' established rules and regulations. Patrons may scan material from the ready reference collection at no cost.

High Resolution Scanning
Self-service scanning is not permitted for archival or manuscript collections. The Archives staff can provide high resolution digital copies of pictorial and printed material from the collections. Images can be scanned up to 600 dpi, in black and white or in color, and in the image format of your choice (jpeg, tiff, etc). Images can be burned onto a CD for no extra charge. The rate for patrons affiliated with Northeastern is $5.00 per scan for 1-10 and $3.00 each for each scan over 10; the rate for the general public is $20.00 per scan.

7. How do I request an image?
To request a digital copy of an image from the Freedom House Photographs and Northeastern's Historical Photographs collections, contact the Archives with the image identification number (e.g. A000001). The rate for patrons affiliated with Northeastern is $5.00 per image, and the public rate is $20.00 per image. There is a $2.00 discount for each scan over 10. An additional publication fee is applicable for commercial use.

8. What form of payment do you accept?
Payment must be received before any service is rendered. We accept check or money orders made payable to Northeastern University. Please send payment to: Archives and Special Collections Department, 92 Snell Library, 360 Huntington Avenue, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115.

9. How do I request course catalog descriptions?
The Northeastern University course catalogs from 1910-1990 are freely accessible online through the Internet Archives to download or print.

There are print copies of the course catalogs in the Archives and Special Collections Department which patrons can self-scan from at no cost.

For a flat fee of $10.00, Archives' staff will mail, email, or fax the descriptions. Payment must be received before service is rendered, and the patron should indicate the semester, year, course number, and course title for the desired courses.

10. Who do I contact with questions about collections?
Please contact the Archives and Special Collections Department at archives [at] neu.edu or 617-373-2351 with any questions.

11. What services do you offer for remote researchers?
The Archives' staff provides up to 30 minutes of free reference service to individuals or organizations outside the University and to individuals affiliated with the University who are engaged in professional or personal research.

Reference service for University departments and offices up to 30 minutes will be provided free of charge.

12. I'm a Northeastern faculty member, how can I arrange for my class to get an introduction to the Archives?
Please contact the Assistant Archivist, Michelle Romero (617.373.7656; m.romero [at] neu.edu) to schedule a class, or submit a request by:

1. Logging in to myNEU
2. Selecting the "Library" tab
3. Clicking on "Library instruction request"

13. How do I donate material?
If you are interested in donating organizational records or personal papers to Northeastern, please contact the Archives and Special Collections Department (617.373.2351; archives [at] neu.edu). Consult the How to Donate Materials page for additional information about the donation process.

14. How do I cite material?

The following examples illustrate the suggested format for referring to archival and special collections in unpublished and published papers:

Citation format:
[item]
[collection title]. ([collection #])
University Libraries
Archives and Special Collections Department
Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts
[Box #], [folder #].

 

Example citation:
Annual Report, 1997
YMCA of Greater Boston Records. (M 13) 
University Libraries
Archives and Special Collections Department
Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts
Box 1, folder 5.
 

Researchers must seek permission from the Archives and Special Collections Department to publish, exhibit, or display items, or parts thereof, from archival and manuscript collections.