Participating in archival research is an amazing opportunity for students' undergraduate experience, Matthew Turi, the UNC manuscripts research and instruction librarian, said.
However, archival research at UNC can be complicated for first-time users, he said, and even the Wilson Library itself can seem imposing to students new to the process.
Located in front of Polk Place, this library houses many special collections full of archived material such as the University Archives, the Southern Historical Collection and the Rare Book Collection.
Turi said that librarians and archivists are available at Wilson Library to help students with archival research.
Lolita Rowe, the assistant University archivist for outreach and engagement, said students typically begin the research process by emailing Wilson Library with information on the topic they're interested in.
A librarian or archivist will follow up with the student and recommend materials and aid for their research.
She said that once the appropriate materials have been located, a student can make an appointment to view the archives in the Research Room in Wilson Library.
According to Rowe, students are allowed to physically touch most of the archival material, but must use gloves when handling photographs.
“The fun part is actually looking through it and discovering something that you need,” Rowe said. “And it's almost like a treasure hunt, or it's like this idea that your knowledge is there; you just have to dig for it.”