Research and Reference Services
Research Tools
Teaching Resources

Research and Reference Services

The Archives is open to all members of the Suffolk community as well as the general public. We are happy to work with patrons onsite at our reading room or remotely via phone or email. Learn more about our policies and use guidelines.

The Archives staff provides a range of research services to patrons, including:

  • locating and providing relevant research materials,
  • providing access to research collections onsite and remotely
  • assisting students and faculty on research projects and course assignments,
  • and answering questions and verifying information related to Suffolk University history, projects, and activities.

Research Tools

Finding Aids

Finding aids provide detailed information about archival collections such as the scope and contents of a collection, how it is organized, and lists of folder and items. Researchers use finding aids to determine whether the materials in a given collection are relevant to their research.

All finding aids are PDFs:

Research Guides

The guides below list primary and secondary sources related to specific topics. Many include links to digitized materials where available.

Bibliographies & Indices

Teaching Resources

Building course content around primary sources can provide an engaging, multi-sensory experience for students that helps develop critical thinking and information literacy skills. Contact archive staff for more information about creating course-specific content.

Teaching Tools

  • El Salvador Foreign Policy Lesson: students analyze selected historical sources about U.S. interests in El Salvador during the 1980s and 1990s (Teacher's Version: pdf, Word, Student Version: pdf , Word)
  • Digital Collections: browse the Archive's digital objects (yearbooks, photos, documents and multimedia)
  • Online Exhibit platform: available for student projects
  • Customized Assignments and Projects: work with archivists to create course-specific activities

Instruction Sessions

  • Archival Research Tutorials: students learn how to find and use primary source materials
  • Content-based Sessions: students examine and discuss primary sources on a specific theme (ie.busing, foreign policy)
  • Class Visits to the Archives: small groups examine primary sources on themes related to course topics or learning objectives

Examples of Course Collaborations and Student Projects

  • Gateway to the Past: The Historian’s Practice (HST 200): Primary sources are used as readings, course assignments and exercises to support an exploration of history as an academic discipline and profession. Students examine course catalogs to understand changes in the history curriculum over time, create digital exhibits using primary sources (Boston Massacre exhibit), write a document analysis essay, and use maps to study Boston’s busing crisis.
  • French Resistance Project: A Suffolk undergraduate translated and described interviews of women in the French Resistance from the Weitz papers (read more).
  • History of Boston (HST 383): Students designed digital exhibits featuring oral history interviews with former Mayor Raymond Flynn and Congressman Stephen Lynch using the Archive's online content platform, Omeka.
  • El Salvador Study Trip (GVT 387): Students’ pre-trip preparations include examining documents and media from Congressmen Moakley’s papers to understand perspectives on the political, social, and economic context of El Salvador’s civil war.
  • Government Research Methods (GVT 120): Using documents from the Moakley Papers focused on busing and foreign policy, students are introduced to archival research and the importance of observation, context, and multiple points of view.
  • Legislative Politics (GVT 347): Students explore the inner workings of Congress through materials from the Moakley Papers and the Dick Armey Papers at the University of Oklahoma. Course readings, assignments, and in-class exercises are drawn from the collections’ strategy documents, policy briefings, constituent correspondence, oral history interviews, photographs, and other media.
  • Archer Fellows Seminar: Students gained hands-on experience doing archival research and completing projects such as editing oral histories and creating a walking tour of Suffolk’s campus.