Skip to Main Content
Indiana State University website
Today's Hours

Special Collections: Before You Visit

The Special Collections Department of the Cunningham Memorial Library holds the University's unique physical and digital collections. Special Collections consists of three units: Rare Books & Manuscripts, University Archives, and the Permanent Art Collect

Special Collections

Special Collections

Before You Visit

Director of Special Collections and University Archivist

Profile Photo
Katie Sutrina-Haney
Cunningham Memorial Library, Room 310

What to Know before you Visit

What to Know

University Archives, Rare Books & Manuscripts, as well as the ISU Permanent Art Collection, has amazing primary source material, but it is important for you, the researcher, to determine in advance what you want to research to make effective use of your visit.  The best way to determine what material the Archives has is by looking at collection finding aids in our Archival searchable database  Some finding aids may provide a high level of detail giving a list of folder titles while others may only provide a brief description about a box’s contents.

Your Research Schedule

When looking through Finding Aids it is important to remember the time frame you have to research at the Archives.  It could take an hour or more to take notes on material in just one box if you find a wealth of information, so plan accordingly.

Contacting us

When you find material of interest, contact the University Archivist or the University Art Curator to arrange a time to research.  Contact the Archivist at least 24 business hours in advance to ensure we can retrieve the material from our off-site storage facility. 

When Reviewing Material

Our material is only viewable in the Special Collections Reading Room on the third floor of Cunningham Memorial Library (317) during our hours: Mondays-Fridays, 9-5. See the Reading Room Policy Tab for more information.

Do's and Don'ts in the Reading Room

When you come to do research, you can bring either a pad of paper and a pencil OR a laptop; NO PENS, FOOD OR DRINK ALLOWED.  We do not make photocopies. Instead, you are allowed to photograph material using your phone/tablet- but please NO FLASH. 

The Reading Room attendant will ask you to stow away your coat and bag, have you sign in, register if you are a new researcher, and direct you on how to use our materials. If you view photographs, you will be asked to wear cotton gloves. 

Other places to look for University Archives material are Shadows of the Wabash:   and Sycamore Scholars:  The Wabash website contains images from the Martin Photo Collection and digitized yearbooks from the university and the university school. Sycamore Scholars contains Board of Trustees minutes, Course Catalogs, Financial Reports, Intercollegiate Athletics material, and some material from the Office of the President.

K12 class research, history, Terre Haute, Library RoomsThe Special Collections Reading Room is where interested researchers can access Special Collection’s holdings- including University Archives material.  Located on the 3rd floor of the Cunningham Memorial Library, interested researchers should contact the appropriate personnel or the main desk to schedule a research appointment.  Please inform us if you will be working in a group so we can provide an appropriate space.  All researchers will be asked to follow the Reading Room procedures.               

  • All researchers must register and sign in
  • Pencils only, NO PENS OR MARKERS
  • All materials must remain on the table during use
  • Personal belongings (briefcases, backpacks, handbags, etc.) must be stowed in the wooden cubicles located next to the entrance
  • Coats, sweaters, etc. must be hung on the provided coat rack
  • Laptops are permitted
  • Camera/tablet usage is permitted, but NO FLASH (We do NOT make scans or photocopies-with the exception of materials to be published)
  • Please submit final requests for materials before 3:45 pm
  • If borrowing our scanners, they must be returned to the desk attendant by 4:15 pm
  • Permission to use material for a publication, event, etc. must be approved by the Department Chair, University Archivist, or Permanent Art Curator depending on the collection to be used.  The Chair, Archivist, and Curator will tell you about any fees related to publishing the material. Talk with the desk attendant on who and how to contact the necessary personnel.

Permanent Art Collection Curator

Profile Photo
Ian Carey
Cunningham Memorial Library
510 South 6 1/2 Street,
Terre Haute, IN 47809