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History 479 - Nebraska and Great Plains History

Citing Primary Sources

How to: Contact an Archivist/Curator

Cultural heritage organizations (museums, archives, historical societies, etc) workers are busy people. To get the best, quickest response from them, start with the tips below for crafting a message.


Greeting: Dear or Hello are usually best. If there is a specific contact listed, address your message to that person. If not, just use "Dear" or "Hello"


-Introduce yourself: Name, UNK student, what class/project this research is for

-Research topic: one to two sentence description of your topic.

-Why are you contacting this place? - address specific collections you are interested in seeing, which finding aids or collection descriptions of theirs that interested you.

-What, specifically do you need from them? 


-If they don't have general open hours, ask to set up a time to visit.

-Ask if there are related collections or additional materials you should consult.

-Thank them for their time.

Dear Dr. Stark:

My name is Pepper Potts and I am a student at New York University. I am working on a project on the history of superheroes. On your website, I saw that you had information on Captain America [include specific collection name/finding aid/item]. I was wondering if there is a time I could come examine the materials, and if you had any additional or related collections.


Pepper Potts