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Archives 101: Plan Your Visit

Basic information and tips on how to search for and access archives.

Prepare For Your Visit

You are welcome to drop by during our business hours. These are, however, some tips to get the most out of your visit to the archives:

  • Know what you want to look at
    • Search our database and make note of the Reference Code for any materials you would like to access. You may find that what you are looking for is available online so check it out and you may save yourself a trip.
  • Let us know you're coming
    • Email us and let us know what you would like to access (with Reference Codes) and when you would like to view it. This will ensure that the materials you wish to access will be ready for you when you arrive.
  • Plan your time
    • Look at the physical description of the materials you want to access. This will help you determine the amount of time you will need to spend working with the materials. Our collections are non-circulating, which means you can only access them in the archives during business hours. 
  • Things to bring or leave behind
    • You are welcome to use your laptop or tablet to make notes
    • Food and drink are not allowed in the archives reading room
    • We provide pencils for your use and do not allow the use of pens
  • Please remember that these materials are rare, unique, and irreplaceable. Please handle them gently and keep them in their original order and condition.

Access and Privacy

Due to the personal nature of some of the information captured in archival records, some files may be restricted in full or in part. To apply for access to this restricted material an Application to Restricted Records by bonafide researchers will be required to be reviewed and approved by the University FOIP/OP Officer. Contact the archives for more details.

Archives' Value to Scholarship

Archives consist of materials known as "primary sources" in the humanities and "gray literature" in the sciences. Archival materials are unique and often have had little to any scholarly attention. This makes archival materials extremely valuable to scholars who are looking for a new lens through which to focus their research. Archival materials offer an unfiltered glimpse into the past and as such archives are extremely multidisciplinary. For this reason archives can be difficult to search when looking for something very specific. However, having a general topic of interest with significant contextual knowledge (i.e. know the major figures and organizations) can result in a very fruitful archival search. The greatest research aid in archival research is the knowledge of the archivist themselves as archivists are often the only ones who have directly worked with these materials since they were first created. Archivists strive to make this knowledge accessible through finding aids but some information undoubtedly gets missed. Come see what archival treasures you can discover for your research!

Ask an Archivist

Northern BC Archives  & Special Collections's picture
Northern BC Archives & Special Collections

Hours of Service:
Monday to Friday: 8:30 AM-4:30 PM
Closed 12:30 PM-1:00 PM daily
Closed Weekends & Statutory Holidays
Appointments Recommended

Location: UNBC Prince George
Geoffrey R. Weller Library
4th Floor (Room 5-423)