Research FAQs

A finding aid is a guide to a manuscript or archival collection. It provides background information, including data about how the collection was acquired, as well as biographical or historical information that helps to place the collection in context. Finding aids include container lists that inventory the contents of collections, facilitating research.

We try to provide access to as much material as possible. Some items, however, must be restricted for a variety of reasons including the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974/1976 (FERPA), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). The primary reason for restricting access to documents is to protect the privacy of individuals. Other materials might be restricted because of university records policies or stipulations by the donor. Please see the links below for more information.

Access to University records
Collections Access & Use Policies

Fees for services such as research, photocopying, and scanning may be applicable. (There is no cost for researchers to use materials onsite.) Please see the links below for more information on fees and preparing for your visit.

Information for Users

The University Archives is the official repository for the records and historical materials of Duke University.

No, because our materials are unique, rare, and sometimes valuable records of individuals, departments, and programs, they cannot circulate. In most cases, however, copies and/or scans may be made of the materials.

See our policies on photocopying for further information.
See our policies on access and use of collections.

The Medical Center Archives is not the official repository for medical records. All inquiries regarding such records should be directed to Health Information Management.

Health Information Management Website
Or call 919-384-7119

No, you do not need an appointment. However, it is advisable to call ahead to make sure that we are open and that the documents you wish to see are available. We do occasionally close the archives and/or reading room for various reasons such as staff meetings, holidays, etc.

Normal hours of business are Monday - Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm; Saturday by appointment; Sunday closed; Medical Center designated holidays closed.

Call 383-2653 ahead of time for holiday hours.

No, since we are located off campus parking is available at no charge.

The Duke University Medical Center Archives is located offsite, 2.5 miles from the Duke University Medical Center. There is no shuttle service between the Archives and the Medical Center. 

Directions to the Archives