4 Telephone operators in the United States Steel Corporation in April 1946.

Archives & Special Collections Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

I see you have two locations; where should I go?

If you are unsure of which location to visit, please contact us ahead of time with details of your research request, and we'll direct you to the appropriate reading room.

When are you open?

Both reading rooms are open Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 4:45 pm. We are closed on all University holidays. You can also view the full list of library hours to check if we’re open.

Do I have to make an appointment?

Yes. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we require appointments made at least 48 hours in advance in order to ensure safe social distancing and that the materials you require are available for your research. If you have questions or would like to make an appointment, please contact us.

How do I get to the Hillman location?

Find us on the third floor of Hillman Library, located at

3960 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

How do I get to the Archives Service Center location?

You can find the Archives Service Center on the second floor of the Library Resources Facility in the Point Breeze neighborhood of Pittsburgh, located about 3-miles from the Oakland campus.

7500 Thomas Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA 15208

Since we’re located off campus, the three easiest ways to get to us are by:

  • Coming by car? We have a small parking lot that’s free for researchers. Here are directions to Archives Service Center
  • Coming by bus? The 67, 69, and 71C stop right near our building, on the corner of Penn and Braddock Avenues; if you don’t mind a little bit further of a walk, check out the 74, P1, P2, or P3.
  • Coming from campus?  A shuttle runs hourly between Hillman and our building. The shuttle between Hillman Library and Thomas Boulevard is not currently running. Please see directions for visiting via car or public transit instead.

Who can use Archives & Special Collections?

Everyone! We’re open to the public, in addition to University of Pittsburgh students, faculty, and staff.

What should I bring?

You’re allowed to bring pencils, paper, notebooks, and your laptop/tablet into the Reading Room. We require photo ID at registration, please make sure you have it with you. If you’re planning to request photocopies, they are $0.50 per page, payable by cash or check. We also allow you to take digital photos of documents, so you may want to bring your camera or smartphone and a charger.

Please DO NOT bring pens, drinks, or food. Lockers are available for storing bags and anything else you may have. You can check our Policies and Procedures for more information.

How do I order reproductions?

You may order a reproduction of most of our materials by submitting a reproduction request. Information on reproduction services and costs can be found on our Ordering Reproductions page.

Do you have Wi-Fi?

We do! If you are a Pitt affiliate who has already configured your laptop to access the Pitt network on campus, you will have immediate access. If you do not have a Pitt computing account, we can give you temporary guest access while you are visiting with us. It just takes a few minutes to set up. We can also take care of this before you arrive if you let us know in advance .

What should I expect on my visit?

When you arrive at Archives & Special Collections, you will be asked to fill out a short patron registration form, as well as look over our Policies and Procedures. If you’ve contacted us ahead of time, you’ll be able to get right to work on the material we’ve pulled for you; otherwise, you can talk to an archivist to help determine what you want to access. An archivist is always on duty to help you with any questions.

Can I bring my class or group to visit for a tour?

Absolutely! Please contact us for more information or to schedule a visit. You can also find more information about instruction sessions in this guide.

Do you have digitized material online?

Yes! Archives & Special Collections has selected and scanned material from several of our collections that you can view from home! Our Digital Collections website provides information about many of our digitized collections, and some of our collection guides also include links to digitized content.

Where else can I do research in Pittsburgh?

If you can’t find what you're looking for at Archives & Special Collections, we encourage you to contact some of Pittsburgh’s other research institutions, including:

Can I work at Archives & Special Collections? Do you offer internships?

Students currently enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh are eligible to apply for positions and internships at the Archives.
Check out the current ULS student job opportunities on Talent Center or contact us if you are interested in working with us.

How can I donate material to Archives & Special Collections?

If you are interested in donating historical records to Archives & Special Collections, please contact us. We’d love to talk with you!

Does the University Archives accept materials from students and student organizations?

Yes! Please visit our Student Organization Records Toolkit to learn more about how student groups can maintain their records or donate them to the archives. You can also contact us for more information.

What is Archives & Special Collections doing to address harmful, offensive, misrepresentative, and racist language in collection descriptions?

The Archives & Special Collections Department at Pitt, along with many other peer institutions, acknowledges failures in past descriptive practices of archival content. To address this, A&SC has undertaken an effort to review, remove, or contextualize harmful, offensive, misrepresentative, and racist language in our collection descriptions. You can read more about this effort here.

The banner image is from our William J. Gaughan Collection collection