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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives FAQs


1. How to conduct research in the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives?

The Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives collect primary source materials (original documents, creative works or artifacts) and secondary sources (books, periodicals, encyclopedias, and other reference sources). With this distinction in mind, you should contact our staff with questions pertaining to the individual papers or organizational records that are listed in our holdings. Once in our facilities, you will be greeted by our staff and given a brief orientation on the policies and procedures of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives. To protect primary source materials, please note that researchers will only be allowed to keep a laptop computer while accessing the collection. All other personal belongings will be held in a locker until the end of the visit. Paper and pencils will be provided by the archivist.

 

2. Who can do research at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives?

The Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives is open to all researchers. We encourage the use of our holdings by any individual interested in the history and culture of Puerto Rico and of Puerto Ricans in the United States, and welcome students, faculty and the general public alike.

 

3. How do I do research at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives?

Research at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives is conducted during regular business hours. For access to primary source materials we recommend to make an appointment. For researchers completing advanced research, such as theses and dissertations, consultations are by appointment only. To make an appointment, contact Pedro Juan Hernández, Senior Archivist, at (212) 396-7877 or by e-mail at dhernand@hunter.cuny.edu. Please be prepared to discuss your research interests and needs so that the archivist may better assist you. Specifically, you should provide the archivist with the collection title and box number(s) of the materials that you are interested in looking at during your visit.

 

4. How do I get to the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives?

The Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives are housed in the Silberman School of Social Work, Hunter College's new building in El Barrio at 119th and 3rd Avenue in Manhattan. The nearest subway is the 116th St station on the 6 train line. There are also numerous public buses nearby.

 

5. What information can I access online?

Many Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives collections have finding aids, guides that offer historical/biographical information and a detailed listing and description of the contents of a collection, that are available online in English and in Spanish. We recommend that researchers read these guides, particularly the Scope and Content Note and Series Description, before planning a visit. For collections that have not been fully processed, we offer an inventory or container list so that researchers can gain a general sense of its contents. In addition, the Archives holdings can be accessed through the CUNY+, OCLC and RLIN online catalogs.

 

6. Do the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives have digital collections?

View a selection of Centro’s digital documents online. In addition, we have collaborated with the New York State Archives in several digital projects that can be accessed through our website. These include: Ventana al pasado: Building a Latino/Hispanic Virtual Research Collection and The Electronic Schoolhouse/La Escuela Electronica.

 

7. Are there restrictions on any of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives Collections?

Individual collections may contain restricted materials due to privacy and/or legal issues. The container list in the finding aid for each collection specifies which documents or folders are not accessible to researchers.

 

8. Can I schedule a class visit to the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives?

The Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives would be happy to make arrangements for a class visit. Please contact us for more information.

 

9. I cannot visit the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives. What type of research assistance can you provide by phone or email?

The Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives can address general reference questions, preferably by email or phone. In-depth reference questions and specific requests must indicate collection title and box and item number. This information is generally available in the finding aids.

 

10. What fees are charged by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives?

A fee schedule is available, detailing duplication fees for all media (photo, paper and digital), upon request.

 

11. How do I obtain copyright permission to publish content from the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives?

Before publishing any material held by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives, written permission must be granted. If the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives is not the copyright holder of those materials, researchers and publishers will be directed to the appropriate contact. We emphasize that it is the responsibility of the researcher or publisher to obtain copyright permission. Researchers are responsible to identify the copyright owners if this information is not provided by the archives. Photocopies or other reproduction is not to be used for any other purpose other than private study, scholarship or research as indicated in the copyright restrictions. We do not allow copying and scanning devices in the archives. However, scanning equipment is available free of charge for microfilm collections.

 

12. What is the preferred citation of the Centro Archives?

Collection Title, Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives, Hunter College, CUNY.

 

13. Can I donate materials to the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives?

The mission of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives is to collect, preserve and provide access to resources documenting the history, culture and experience of Puerto Ricans. To this end, we accept personal papers, organizational records, non-print materials and other types of relevant documents that chronicle the rich history of our community. If you are interested in making a donation, please contact us.

 

14. Do I need to organize my papers or records before donating them?

Though there is no need to arrange or rearrange materials prior to making a donation, we encourage donors to consult with us when considering or planning to make a donation. For more information, please read the brochure A Guide to Donating Your Personal or Family Papers to a Repository prepared by the Manuscript Repositories Section of the Society of American Archivists.

 

15. Will the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives appraise individual items or collections?

No, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives does not provide financial appraisals.

 

16. Does the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library and Archives accept volunteers?

Yes, we accept and appreciate the assistance of volunteers. Please contact us.