Before visiting the Archives, it pays to do some preparation to ensure your visit goes smoothly. The SFU Archives Acquisition Mandate can provide insight into what kinds of materials are accepted into our holdings.

To facilitate research on topics where our holdings have a concentration of content, there are subject-based, thematic research guides to aid research on women's rights, campus politics, and arts and culture resources.

The University Archives encourages researchers to visit the Archives in person and to take notes from the material that they consult.

Working in the Reading Room

When coming to do research, be prepared to:

  • complete a one-time researcher registration form.
  • provide information about your local and permanent residence and to show some form of photo identification.

The following rules apply when working in the research room:

  • Food and drink are not permitted.
  • Coats, briefcases and bags must be left in the designated area.
  • All archival materials are non-circulating and must stay in the research room.
  • Only pencils are allowed; you may not use ink for taking notes. Laptops and other portable computers are also permitted provided they are not placed in physical contact with archival materials.
  • Avoid damage to materials by not leaning on, folding, writing on, tracing or otherwise impacting them. Notify staff of anything needing preservation attention.
  • Photocopies and scans must be made by Archives staff. Researchers may take their own digital photographs of research materials with prior approval of the Reference Archivist on duty. We regret that digital copies cannot be made to digital storage devices provided by the researcher.


SFU Archives Finding Aids

Before visiting or contacting SFU Archives, consult the online finding aids to determine if the records you wish to consult are in our holdings and what their access status is.

* Using SFU Archives
This detailed guide is written for the first-time researcher who is unfamiliar with accessing archival material. It provides a more detailed explanation of how archival records are organized and searched.

Research Inquiries

We receive inquiries in person, by telephone, by conventional mail and by e-mail. See the Contact Us page for hours and contact information.

The large volume of inquiries relative to staff and processing priorities means that we are only able to undertake very limited research on behalf of researchers unable to visit the Archives. We will do our best to answer queries given a 30-minute research limitation per inquiry. Depending on staff workloads, it could take up to 20 working days before your query is addressed.


Duty Reference Archivist

Protection of Privacy and Copyright

We are required by law to protect specific types of information, disclosure of which would cause harm or be an unreasonable invasion of privacy. Where a researcher requests access to files containing personal information, it might be necessary to enter into a Research Agreement with the Archives.

Reproductions, Fees and Copyright

There are restrictions on making copies of archival material, and fees associated with producing reproductions. You should also be aware of copyright restrictions on archival material.