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Terrell Main Library

8am - 5:30pm

Circulation Desk

8am - 5:30pm

Research Help Desk

3:30pm - 4:30pm

Research Help Chat

2:30pm - 4:30pm

Libraries Administrative Office

8:30am - 5pm

Azariah's Cafe

9am - 2pm (just drinks)

CIT Help Desk

8am - 4:30pm

Writing Center Daytime

Writing Center Evening

Speaking Center



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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Finding Guides to Collections

Browse our extensive guides to the archival collections found in the Oberlin College Archives. Finding guides are descriptive tools. They represent the most direct way to gain access to archival records. Researchers will want to utilize the five major sections of finding guides, as listed below, in order to identify the records they wish to consult. Contact us with questions or requests.

Administrative History/Biographical Sketch

The administrative history/biographical sketch provides a history of the organization or individual that created or accumulated the records described in the finding guide. A biographical sketch will highlight the life and activities of the person or family that generated the records. An administrative history will focus on the structure and functional responsibilities of an office or administrative unit, and will note how administrative changes resulted in the transfer of functions to different offices or units.

Scope and Content Note

Scope and content notes provide a narrative description of the materials in the collection or group, detailing their function and use, and the kinds and types of information contained therein. The scope and content note will identify those specific documents or series that may be of particular interest to the researcher, but will also note where gaps or deficiencies may exist in the record.

Series Descriptions

Series descriptions consist of a written analysis describing the levels of hierarchical control for the group or collection, and provide the date span, volume, and a description of the contents for each specific unit of records.


The inventory is a full box and folder listing of the record group or collection. It will contain the title of the subgroup, series, or subseries stored in each container, as well as the inclusive dates and folder headings of the material.

Unprocessed Accessions List

The unprocessed accessions list provides a brief description of the accession(s) received by the College Archives for the specified record group or collection, but not yet processed or integrated into the main body of records. In some cases, a preliminary inventory of the records is included. Some records may require review by the Archivist for access restrictions.

The Oberlin College Archives finding guides provide detailed descriptions of archival collections.