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Archives & Primary Sources

Learn about the Emerson College Archives & Special Collections as well as other archives that may be of use when researching your topic. Also learn about primary sources and where to find them online.

Overview of the Archives

Collage of materials in the Emerson Archives.The Emerson College Archives & Special Collections (ECASC) is home to historical materials of many different subjects and types that can enrich your research and educational projects.  Our collections focus on the history of the College and other topics - such as theater, journalism, comedy, and communication disorders – which complement the College’s curriculum. 

Whether you are writing an essay for a class, creating promotional materials for your department, or completing a book on a historical topic, the archives staff can help you find and effectively use historical resources.

Research Services

Appointments & Hours

ECASC is located at 120 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116 (Walker Building) in room 223.  We are fortunate to have acquired a large number of institutional and special collections since our founding in 1984.  However, the volume of this material has required us to store materials offsite and it can sometimes take a day or two to retrieve items.  We therefore ask all patrons to make an appointment at least 24 hours in advance.

Our open ours are Monday through Friday, 9am - 4pm except in the summer, when we close at 2pm on Fridays.  To make an appointment, please contact us at or 617-824-8301.

Using Our Materials

There are guidelines that patrons must follow in order to use ECASC's materials safely and effectively.  This includes (but is not limited to):

  • Not having food, beverages, or gum out when using our collections.
  • Only using pencils.
  • Holding materials carefully with clean hands.
  • Not writing on, folding, fastening, or placing papers/post-it notes on any archival materials.
  • Not tracing materials.

Patrons will be required to sign a document listing all of the guidelines in order to affirm that they will follow all of the rules for using our materials.

Remote Patrons

If you are unable to visit the archives, it is possible that ECASC staff may be able to conduct limited research on your behalf.  We accept these requests on a case-by-case basis depending upon other current projects and the amount of research required.  Please contact us at or 617-824-8679 for more information.