Archives and Special Collections at Columbia College Chicago provides access to its unique institutional records, special collections, manuscripts and rare book collections and assists researchers in locating related materials pertinent to their research. It supports the teaching mission of the college through the acquisition of primary collections in support of college curriculum. The Center for Black Music Research collections focus on Black music topics presented in its collections representing materials from around the world. Our mission is to ensure these rich primary materials are available and accessible to all. 

To research materials onsite please  make an appointment

Onsite Research

  • In-Person: View requested collection materials onsite
  • Materials must be used in the  Archives & Special Collections, Focused Collections Book Room, or Center for Black Music Research reading rooms.
  • Note: to enter campus buildings you must provide a driver's license, passport, or state ID to enter the building and check in with the security staff before entering the reading rooms
  • Appointments:  Choose your start time, either morning or afternoon, and staff will have requsted materials ready upon your arrival.

                                   Explore digital materials and collection guides held in our Digital Commons repository.

Instruction and Presentation

  • Faculty Consultation: Plan projects and discover innovative ways to include primary materials in your syllabus to build student research skills and ensure access to rich primary materials, This is course-specific, so please schedule an appointment with us before scheduling an instruction/presentation session. 
    • Appointments: scheduled for 1.5 hours
  • Archives Live Lab (ALL) Presentations: Live stream primary materials into your remote meeting or classroom or record video for asynchronous viewing. The FAQs page offers a full explanation about this service. 
    •  Appointments: dependent on the needs of the faculty or organization, so please discuss scheduling with staff.
  • Group or Class Presentations: Staff will present or instruct to students or groups in a variety of subjects including:introduction to research and extrapolation of information from various primary materials; identifying quality research materials; interacting with primary materials; practicing archival work;, and educating about collections, among others.
    • Appointments: dependent on the needs of the faculty or organization, so please discuss scheduling with staff.

Reference Assistance

  • We offer research assistance limited to 30 minutes of staff research time.  
    • For research requiring more in-depth research, a list of professional local researchers for hire is available upon request.
  • Contact: