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USING THE COLLECTIONS
|USING THE COLLECTIONS
Over the course of the century in which the Prints and Photographs Division has existed, a variety of methods have been developed to provide access to its diverse holdings.
Reading Room Files
Among the oldest—and still used—forms of access to the collections is through file cabinets containing a mixture of original and copy images that provide direct access to materials. Reading room files that may prove most useful for women's history topics are listed here:
Catalogs, Indexes, and Finding Aids
Materials that cannot be accessed directly in reading room files are kept in storage areas and can be located by consulting catalogs, indexes, and finding aids. Some images are described in groups, based on their related provenance, subject matter, or format; other images are cataloged individually. Major tools include the following:
Prints and Photographs Division staff have prepared a variety of reference aids that are intended to assist users in navigating the division's collections and finding tools and, in some cases, to offer a selection of images on frequently requested topics.
Consult Reference Staff
A growing proportion of the Prints and Photographs Division's holdings are available online, enabling researchers to serve themselves. Nevertheless, the majority of the holdings have not been digitized; access to them is through finding aids such as those described above. The relationships among collections and tools for accessing them are intricate. Therefore, researchers are encouraged to consult with reference staff regarding their topics and the best means for pursuing them. Reference staff also specialize in different areas of the collections and can frequently offer background information on particular collections in their areas, as well as leads on fruitful avenues for research. If you have a question, do not hesitate to ask. The Prints and Photographs Division “Contact Information” page outlines various means for contacting staff.[Top]
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