Today’s Hours:

All Hours & Directions

Terrell Main Library

8am - 5pm

Circulation Desk

8am - 5pm

Research Help Desk

2:30pm - 4:30pm

Research Help Chat

2:30pm - 4:30pm

Libraries Administrative Office

8:30am - 5pm

Azariah's Cafe

8am - 2pm

CIT Help Desk

8am - 4:30pm



Mary Church Terrell Main Library
148 W College St. Oberlin, OH 44074-1545


The main visitor lot is the east Service Building lot, and the south row of the Carnegie Building lot for visitors to offices within that building.

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General FAQs

How do I find out what collections Archives has for research?

The main access tools to our collections are the finding guides. These have a biographical or administrative history, a scope note, and an inventory.

Are your collections online?

We have a vast array of physical collections and records. For remote access we have a number of digital collections, as well as online exhibits and other resources.

What can I bring into the Reading Room?

Pencils, paper, laptops/tablets, cameras (ask permission to shoot). Cell phones must be set to silence mode. No food or drink, no pens (pencils can be provided), no coats or bags/purses.

Where do we put our coats and purses/bags?

We have lockers with locks and coat pegs for your use. Check in with the reference desk for locker instructions.

Do we need I.D.?

You will need your government issued ID number or Oberlin College “T” number for our registration form.

Where is the classroom? My class/group is meeting there.

During this time of limited contact, class presentations by the archivist may be done remotely.  Please check with your instructor. 

Enter the Reading Room, check in with the reference desk, then proceed to the Forsythe Classroom from there.

How do I cite archival sources?

Check the online style manual recommended by your professor or publisher.

How do I find out about a person who attended Oberlin College?

Check the online 1908 College Catalogue, and use our email form to request a description of our holdings on that person. If the person who is the subject of your research would have attended after 1908, please use our email form so the Archives staff can search other indexes not available online. Not every former student or graduate will be represented in our files.

What does it cost to get copies?

Materials that can be copied cost $0.40/page. There is an additional research charge for remote patrons requesting copies. Please check with an Archives staff member if you want copies or further information.

How do I request a digital image of an item in your collections? How do I get permission to use it?

See below for that information.  


Goodrich Reading Room Policies

The College Archives welcomes all members of the College community as well as registered users and asks them only to follow a few operational rules:

  • Patrons are asked to register/sign-in if they are here to use collections for research. Students visiting as part of a class are also asked to sign-in.

  • All historical materials must be used in the Archives/Special Collections Goodrich Reading Room (Mudd 420) or other area designated by staff.

  • Coats, bags, umbrellas, etc. should be left on the hooks and in the lockers provided for that purpose in the hallway.

  • No food or drinks are allowed in the Goodrich Room.

  • Researchers are asked to work quietly, put their cell phones on vibrate, and take/make calls in the corridor.

  • Researchers should use pencil in taking notes and must handle records with utmost care. Handling information will be provided on a case-by-case basis.

  • Researchers are asked to wash their hands prior to using collections and in some instances may be required to wear cotton gloves.

  • Some records contain restrictions. Conditions on access exist to protect individual privacy or confidential information. In these cases, the Archivist or the creating office can sometimes grant permission to gain access to the records.

  • The College Archives offers photocopying and some PDF scanning services for a fee of 40 cents per page. For higher resolution images please speak to the College Archivist. All work is done by our staff. We can direct requests for continuous tone photographic reproductions to an outside vendor.

  • Patrons can make full use of laptop computers. The Goodrich Room is equipped with power outlets, data ports, and wireless Internet. More limited use of handheld digital cameras in the Reading Room is permitted. Camera flash is not permitted.


Requesting Records

When asking Archives staff to retrieve records, users should provide all the levels of description as listed in the inventory. For example, users requesting specific information from the records of the College of Arts and Sciences would ask for Record Group 9, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Subgroup IV, College of Arts and Sciences Academic Departments and Programs, Series 2, Academic Programs, Subseries 1, Campus Programs, Box 5, Independent Study Project. For more information, see Reference Services.


Permissions and Reproductions

For information on requesting reproductions or permissions, please contact the College Archivist by calling our office at 440-775-8014.

Note: Warning concerning Copyright Restrictions

 The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyright material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that use may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of the copyright law.


Records Management 

For our retention schedules for records created by administrative, departmental, and organizational offices, as well as procedures for transferring records, please contact the College Archivist, Ken Grossi, at