Gaps and Silences in Archives and Special Collections
While archives have been viewed as unbiased repositories of the past in its entirety, they are in fact spaces of gaps and silences. These gaps and silences are due to changing opinions of archivists have considered "of enduring value," and can reflect historical, institutional, and internalized racism, classism, sexism, and ignorance of marginalized genders and sexualities. Biases may also impact the archivist's description. Archives are not neutral.
Hello! I am an Archivist at Kennedy Library's Special Collections and Archives. I can help you navigate archives research and primary sources, from Kennedy Library's Special Collections and Archives to around the world and online.
Special Collections and Archives
Kennedy Library, Cal Poly
Getting started with research in University Archives
University Archives is a valuable resource for research about Cal Poly. There are millions of documents in the archives, and it can be hard to know where to look and how to find the right keywords to search. We've outlined some of the steps we recommend you begin with when you are researching with the archives:
Gather up what you know about the topic, people, time period. Jot down phrases, names, dates, and keywords you think might be related to your research question
you might want to explore secondary sources or Wikipedia to learn a little more about the context
What formats of materials are you interested in? (video, audio, images, documents, data)