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Visit the Archives

Due to COVID-19 health and safety restrictions, the Cooper Union Archives is closed to researchers for the duration of the 2020-2021 academic year. We apologize for the inconvenience and encourage you to contact us to see how we can assist you with your research.  

Access and Use Policy 

  • Researchers must deposit all bags, coats, purses, briefcases, umbrellas and other personal items with the archives librarian. 
  • Food, drink, and ink pens are not allowed when using archival materials. 
  • The Archives may restrict the use of some records because of fragility, special format problems, or proprietary rights, and some records are available only on microfilm.  
  • The use of personal computers, cameras, or scanners is allowed as long as they do not harm the records or disturb other researchers.  
  • All cell phones must be silenced or in vibrate mode. Researchers are asked to leave the Reading Room to answer calls and carry on conversations so as not to disturb other researchers. 
  • Researchers may request scans of materials unless records are deemed too fragile. 
  • The archives librarian will deliver a maximum of one folder [or the equivalent there of] of records upon request. Researchers will be asked to accept responsibility for returning all the contents in the same condition they were delivered. 

Guidelines for Handling Collections 

  • Please ensure that your hands are clean.
  • All material in cartons or boxes should be kept in the order received.  
  • Use a pencil to take notes. Pens or markers of any kind are not permitted in the Reading Room.  No marks should be added or erased from Archives' material.   
  • Do not rest anything on top of manuscript or printed items. If you need to mark your place, please use the scrap paper available on the reference desk. If you need assistance holding an item flat, please see the reference archivist.   
  • When a folder is in use it should remain flat on the table. Contents should remain flat and in order in their opened folder while being read.  Paper documents and book leaves should be handled as little as possible and turned gently one at a time, with fingers in the non-text areas of the sheet whenever possible.  
  • Gloves will be provided with material that is especially sensitive to damage from direct handling, such as photographs and negatives (many Archives photographs are encapsulated in Mylar and do not require the use of gloves). Gloves are available in the Reading Room. 


Rules for scanning and copying

  • Before proceeding to the scanner, please show the reference archivist what you would like to copy. Certain fragile or deteriorating documents should not be scanned.  Consult a reference archivist before removing fasteners from original documents.  Never run archival documents through the automatic feeder.  Please maintain the order of the documents within folders, and folders within boxes. 




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The Cooper Union Library
7 E 7th St.
New York, NY