Archives are full of unique, unpublished material in a variety of media not available anywhere else in the world. Archival research holdings must be used onsite and handled with special care.

Interested in provincial history, women’s issues, or social activism? We keep a wide range of archival material in our specially designed vault and provide access to it in our Reading Room. Follow along to learn how to conduct research at the Archives.

Step 1: Examine our holdings online at SFU ATOM

Does the Archives have what I need?

SFU AtoM (Access to Memory) is our online searchable database containing descriptions of our archival holdings. In SFU AtoM, researchers can view finding aids describing each archival fonds or collection. Each finding aid contains an introductory section providing context for the records through a brief history of the organization or a short biographical sketch, and describes the records in general terms.

Since archives are not arranged by subject but by provenance, start your archival research by considering which organizations or people might have created records that apply to your area of interest. You can get this information from secondary sources or ask the archivist. For example, if Maggie Benston was mentioned in a book about women’s rights at SFU, you could find more information among her papers, which we hold.

Check out our Search Tips for additional suggestions on how to make the most of your time in SFU AtoM.

Fonds description for the Maggie Benston fonds
File list for the Maggie Benston fonds in AtoM

Make a list of files that interest you: Found a fonds that looks useful to you? Follow the links to the series descriptions and file lists to narrow down your search. Keep track of the numbers of the files that interest you. When you are making your file list, note any restrictions on the files such as “pending review.” This means that an archivist will have to review the material for privacy issues or other concerns before you can access its contents. Many files can be opened upon review, but you will have to allow time for the review process.

Reading Room Hours

Monday: by appointment
Tuesday: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Thursday: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Saturday: closed
Sunday: closed

Phone: 778.782.3805

Before your visit

During your Visit

Internet Connection
In order to use an SFU wifi connection, you will need to set up Eduroam while you are still at your home institution. 

Researchers unaffiliated with an institution can access the internet through a designated workstation or their personal phone data.