Exhibits are on display at the Archives throughout the year. Please stop in to visit the exhibits and learn more about the history of Purdue University. Visit our exhibits page for more information about ongoing as well as past exhibits.
The Virginia Kelly Karnes Archives and Special Collections Research Center serves not only Purdue University students, faculty, and staff but any researcher interested in the rare and unique materials housed within the Archives and Special Collections. Please contact the Archives with any questions regarding university history or the collections. Persons interested in visiting the Archives to conduct research are encouraged to make an appointment, allowing at least 24 hours advance notice to give staff time to prepare materials for use.
Unlike a library, materials in archives are not made available for browsing by the public. Due to the unique, rare, and often fragile nature of the materials, procedures are in place to ensure the security and longevity of the collections. Whether a first-time visitor or a returning researcher, reviewing the policies of the archives is recommended. Please note that to protect the valuable collections, food and drink are not allowed in the archives.
Upon arrival, new researchers are required to complete a registration form. All researchers must provide a photo ID; this will be kept by staff until the researcher completes his or her visit. The researcher will be asked to place any bags, coats, and other personal belongings into a locker. Only pencils, paper, digital cameras, and mobile devices are permissible in the reading room.
Once seated, the reference archivist will give instruction on proper use of the material as well as any special treatment necessary for the item or items selected. The reference archivist will remain in the reading room to provide any assistance. Scans and photocopies of materials are available in most cases for a small fee. Researchers interested in photographing items must receive permission. Alert the reference archivist if interested in any reproductions. Copies are provided for personal research use only and may not be published without permission.
For a complete list of policies and procedures for researchers, please visit the Archives and Special Collections website for more information.
The Karnes Archives and Special Collections Research Center is open Monday through Friday, 10:00am - 4:30pm during the Fall and Spring semesters.
For complete semester hours of the archives and all university libraries, including holidays and breaks, visit here.