An archive can be two things. First, it's a collection of documentation (which can be in any format) that has been created by an individual or organisation. These records provide evidence of the activities and functions of whoever created them.
The records also provide information that can be used in various ways. For example, for the Installation Ceremony of the first University Chancellor in 1967, lots of records were created as part of the organising process. In themselves, they offer information as to how such an important event came together, but the records include details of guests and which part of the event they were invited to, menus and programmes, all of which also offer different kinds of insights relating to cultural, social and family history.
Secondly, the repositories of archival collections have come to be known as Archives. These can be whole buildings, like the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh, or part of a building like the University of Dundee Archive Services, which is based in the University's Tower building in the City Campus.
The Archive is open to university staff and students and all members of the public. There is provision for wheelchair users and we aim to serve the needs of everyone wishing to make use of our service. Please telephone in advance if you have any special requirements and we'll do our best to help
Visiting the Archive and accessing the collections is free. Charges are only made if you want documents reproduced or for research conducted by staff
It's always advisable to make an appointment, especially if you are travelling some distance; there is limited reader space and sometimes it's necessary to close the search room at short notice
When visiting the Archive for the first time, please bring some proof of identification with your name, address and signature (e.g. a driving licence or passport). Students can use their current matriculation card. On subsequent visits please bring your reader’s ticket with you.
Staff will help and offer advice at all times to ensure that you have a productive and enjoyable visit
Readers can, of course, access our catalogues remotely and identify records that might be of interest before visiting. But you don’t need to come prepared; online and hard copy catalogues are available to consult in the Archives. Please note that all not all of our collections are listed on the online catalogue and a very few collections are off-site. If you have an idea which collection you'd like to look at, let us know.
Archival material is irreplaceable and may only be consulted in the Archive’s searchroom. It may not be borrowed.
Items can be reproduced on request, although this is at the discretion of the Archivist, and depends on such factors as copyright, state of repair and size of the document. It is sometimes possible to make copies immediately but normally they will be ready for collection or posted to you after 3 working days. This is a chargeable service
There's not a limit on the number of items that a reader may request at one time, but only one item will be issued at any one time in the searchroom. If you wish to consult a large number of items, it would be wise to let us know in advance
These records are not available to view. Some material may be too fragile to access or may be closed at the request of the depositor. Others are closed or have restricted access under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998 or other legislation. Depending on the reason for closure it may be possible to view a copy or for Archive staff to summarise the information in the item.
Yes, laptops can be used and plugged in at your own risk. If the searchroom is busy power points may not be available so users may need to run their laptop by battery power.
You can use your own camera or mobile phone to take images as long as the flash is disabled and you are complying with current copyright legislation. There is a daily fee charged for self-service photography
The Archive holds extensive collections of interest to a wide range of researchers. Areas covered include education, religion, social and business history, medicine and health, and local and family history
We will do our best to point you in the right direction to identify material for your search using our expertise and knowledge
We can help get you started. Our family history guide offers an introduction and basic tips for budding genealogists
The Archive is always keen to broaden its collections and welcomes opportunities to gain new materials from individuals, businesses and organisations alike. The collections need to fit in with our collecting policy, so drop in and see us or get in touch for further information.
The University’s café is located on the 10th floor of the Tower Building and serves a range of drinks and snacks. There are also many cafes and bars close to the University