Using the Archives

  • All 6000 collections are described on the Online Archive of California (OAC).
  • Archival materials must be used in the reading room.
  • Cameras are permitted. Camera stands, tripods, scanners, and other equipment are not allowed.
  • Jackets with pockets, including suit jackets, are not allowed. Consider bringing a sweater, as the room is sometimes chilly, even in summer.
  • A self-service photocopy machine is available. Copies are $0.15 each. The machine accepts one- and five-dollar bills and coins.
  • Laptop computers, cameras, cell phones, reference books, and pencils are generally allowed. Please note that laptops, cameras, and cell phones are not allowed when using certain collections, such as the Chiang Kai-shek Diaries. All other items, including pens, coats, hats, purses, research materials, notebooks, notepaper,  food, and beverages, can be stored in lockers adjoining the reading room.
  • Researchers must exercise care to avoid damaging the materials. This includes making no marks and resting no books or other objects on the documents, preserving the existing order and arrangement of materials, and using only one box at a time. Specific materials may be subject to additional rules of use.
  • All items removed from the reading room must be inspected by an archives staff member.
  • To listen to sound recordings or view videos or films, please contact jsam [at] stanford [dot] edu (Jim Sam) (sound recordings) or hoover_visuals [at] stanford [dot] edu (Stephanie Stewart) (video and film) at least two working days before you visit. They will advise you of the accessibility of the materials you wish to use. Not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.
  • Off-site collections are listed here.