Research at the Cardigan Archives
With a mission to save, preserve, and share our School’s history, the Cardigan Archives is designed to be your resource.
Whether you’re never visited an archival collection or have been anxiously waiting to submit a research request, this page can help you resolve your unanswered questions. If you need additional support, remember that you can email firstname.lastname@example.org at any time for more information.
- What is an archival collection?
- What makes archives different from a library?
- How can I find out what is in the Cardigan Archives?
- How do I visit the Cardigan Archives?
- Can someone help me find materials that interest me?
- May I check out items from the Cardigan Archives?
- May I look at everything in the Cardigan Archives' collection?
- May I use items from the Cardigan Archives in my research?
- What citation information should I use for archival items?
An archival collection is a group of materials that relate to a specific topic, person, or place. All archives have a mission to SAVE, PRESERVE, and SHARE the items in their collections, so that they will be around for future generations to experience. At the Cardigan Archives, we focus on retaining primary source materials that relate to the history of the School, its community, and its surroundings.
Archives usually limit their focus to primary sources on specific topics. Rather than following the Dewey Decimal System, archives determine the best way to organize their own collections. This is usually documented in a “collection list” (an outline of topics covered within the collection). Larger archives may also offer “finding aids,” which detail the specific items that have been collected under a given topic.
The Cardigan Archives maintains a summary Collection List, which outlines the subjects with related items in the collection. Because Cardigan’s collection is growing quickly, this list continues to evolve. As with many collections, if you have a question about a particular topic, it may be most helpful to ask the archivist to help you find related items.
The Cardigan Archives are located within Kirk Library in Stoddard Hall. The archivist welcomes patrons to the collection during her regular office hours (when not attending meetings or classes), and also at special times by advance arrangement. The librarian and other faculty members may not admit patrons to the archives, so patrons should confirm access with the archivist if planning to visit at a specific time.
If you’re able to visit the collection in person, the archivist can help you find what you need. Identifying your key questions is useful (i.e., are you generally interested in a time period, a place, or a person?). We recommend that you stay open-minded and think creatively -- it’s not unusual to discover hidden treasures while visiting the collection! If you cannot come in person, however, consider browsing our online resources or making a research request.
For the safety of the materials, archival items do not leave the collection space, except on special loan for events or to organizations. However, you may visit and view most items in person. At Cardigan, we will also let you take pictures of an item, or request a copy or scan for your research – just ask.
As in other archives, some of Cardigan’s collection items are categorized as “restricted.” This means that the general public may not be allowed to look at certain items that have been restricted permanently or for some defined period of time. Restrictions may be applied for preservation purposes (to protect delicate or disintegrating materials), or to address legal requirements or privacy considerations.
Cardigan loves lifelong learners, and we encourage students and others in the School community to use materials from our archives in research projects! We ask that you use appropriate citations, and notify the School prior to reproducing archival materials in a publication. (Please note that you are responsible for determining whether copyright laws apply to published materials.)
An example of an archives citation (using Chicago Manual of Style) follows:
Photograph, "Baseball Candid" [circa 1970s], Box PH7.9.2, Photo Collections, Cardigan Archives at Cardigan Mountain School, Canaan, NH.
When citing a digital object, include the reference URL at the end of the citation:
Please contact the archivist if you wish to confirm citation information for an item.