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MSK Archives: Visit

This guide provides an overview of the Archives at MSK, including a description of our existing holdings, collecting areas, and how to use and access materials

Preparing for a Visit

  • Due to the fragile nature of archival records, all material has been placed in a specialized storage location, and thus the archives cannot accommodate walk-ins. Please refer to the “Requesting Material” section for instructions on how to have certain items sent to the Archives for viewing. 
  • Large personal items, including backpacks, heavy coats, and the like are not permitted near research areas. If you are uncomfortable with Archives’ staff holding these items until research is completed, then please do not bring them.

Blood Bank, 1950s

Reading Room Rules

 - Patrons may only use pencils and paper distributed by Archives staff to take notes. No other writing implements are to be in research areas

 - Laptops and cell phones may be used, but flash photography is strictly prohibited. Laptops may be inspected at the completion of a reference visit.

 - Large personal items such as backpacks, heavy coats, briefcases and related items are not to be near research areas and may be kept near the Archivist if brought on site.

 - All food and drink will only be allowed in designated eating areas away from archival records.

 - Some material may be fragile and require assistance from the archivist in order to use.

Requesting Material

For the safety of the records, all materials are kept off site must be requested at least 72 hours in advance for local audiences, coordinate with archivist 2-3 weeks in advance of travel. To make a request, send an email to the Archivist ( or Library main account ( Please include, where possible, the collection name, the box number(s), and folder number(s) of the items you wish to review.

Some materials may be made available electronically upon request.

Due to the sensitive nature of some material, outside approval may be required to view certain items.

Getting Started with Archival Research

If you are new to archival research, or are not sure what to expect, this guide from the Society of American Archivists can help you orient yourself and your work.

Five Dos and Don'ts of Archival Research

This helpful guide from Zachary Hottel, the Archivist at Shenandoah County Library System, details some helpful tips on doing archival research.


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Sheridan Sayles

Location and Hours

Address: Rockefeller Research Laboratories Building, 430 East 67th Street, New York, NY 10065

Phone: 212-639-7439

Hours: Monday-Friday from 8:30am-7:00pm

Notes upon entering the facility:

  • The Archives is located in the Nathan Cummings Center Library in the Rockefeller Research Center Building. Upon entering the building from the 67th street entrance, the library will be on the first floor on the left.
  • The building features badge entrance. If you do not have MSK credentials, please go to the front desk upon arrival and have the guard contact the MSK Library Information Desk 212-639-7439 to gain entrance. You may also contact the Archivist at 646-988-1735.