Women's History Research in Archives : Libraries vs. Archives
What's the Difference?
Libraries collect and provide access to published materials in order to keep people informed, promote scholarship and provide entertainment.
Archives collect and provide access to unpublished materials in order to ensure government accountability and to preserve institutional and cultural memory.
|Published materials||Unpublished materials|
|e.g. books, periodicals||e.g. records, letters, diaries, posters|
|Browse & retrieve materials yourself||Request materials from staff|
|Individual items||Collections of materials|
|Items with covers||Boxes and folders|
|Organized by subject and genre||Organized by creator|
|(facilitates browsing)||(keeps materials in context)|
|Every item has a brief catalog record||Descriptions can be none, brief, or in-depth|
|Multiple copies exist||Uniqeu materials|
|Lost or damaged items can be replaced||Materials irreplaceable|
|Can borrow materials||Must view items onsite|
|Lower security||Higher security|