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UHCL Archives and Special Collections

Information about the collections of and on planning research at the UHCL Archives and Special Collections; created/updated by Matthew M. Peek

Research at UHCL Archives and Special Collections

Prior to coming to research in-person at the UHCL Archives and Special Collections, we ask that you perform these steps first to ensure we can locate all of the materials for your research needs within a timely manner. We currently require research appointments, with 24-hour notice from non-University of Houston-Clear Lake researchers. For international researchers or international students, we require appropriate photo identification (such as a driver's license or passport) be shown before these researchers can access the Johnson Space Center History Collection and Human Space Flight Collection, due to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) we are required to abide by related to our holdings of NASA materials.

UHCL faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to schedule research appointments, but do accept walk-in campus researchers for such things as use of the various book collections in the UHCL Archives. Also, UHCL offices, colleges, or departments needing access to their institutional records are welcome to do research on the same day, as long as they contact the UHCL Archives staff ahead of time so we can have the appropriate materials pulled. Research appointments are available Monday-Friday, 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., with the Archives stopping pulling records at 4:30 P.M. prior to closing. We do not have any COVID-19 restrictions currently, though we do recommend masks be worn and have masks available onsite if they are needed or desired. 

We have a researcher registration form ALL Researchers will be required to fill out, and a list of usage rules (like no food or drinks around the materials, no pen, etc.) that must be followed. Researchers will not be provided the archival collection materials until they have read, understood, and agreed to follow the Archives usage rules. If the usage rules for archival materials are not followed, researchers may not be allowed to continue to have access to the archival materials, and will not be allowed to continuing researcher in the UHCL Archives.

For protection of the records and security, the UHCL Archives has a cabinet where ALL Researchers are required to store their personal belongings (other than pencil, notebook/paper, or laptop, which are allowed at the tables for research). If researchers do not follow these procedures, they will be asked to leave the UHCL Archives until they are ready to comply with and have constant observation of their research practices


Steps to do before arriving at UHCL Archives and Special Collections

1. Choose your topic/area of interest

  • You may contact us with a general interest, a question, or prepared research topic. A more specific research topic will help Archives staff locate materials for you more efficiently. We currently do not have a central database for our holdings, which is why we need notice to do searching across numerous collections to assist you.

2. Select the collections' materials you would like to view

  • Once you have chosen your topic, you may search your topic in our UHCL Neumann Institutional Repository. Finding aids for the University Archives institutional records, Clear Lake Area Collection, Human Space Flight Collection, and Johnson Space Center History Collection can be found here.
  • For researchers using the Johnson Space Center History Collection, we require researchers locate and provide us with series titles, section numbers, and box/folder numbers ahead of time. There are over 3,000 linear feet of records, and some of these materials have been digitized by NASA and are no longer physically at the UHCL Archives and Special Collections. We need specifics ahead of your research, as we may be able to locate already digitized records, and send them to you through secure electronic transfer.
    • If you have a list of materials you are looking for in the Johnson Space Center History Collection (which is owned by NASA), providing us with a list of boxes to pull ahead of time would help us ensure we have things ready for your limited time in doing research.
    • You can search the Johnson Space Center History Collection indexes from the JSC History Office, which provide exact box and folder locations in the Collection to help us locate it
    • There are two different indexes, the JSC History Search Index and JSC Archive Search Index, that have different levels of detail—one goes to the item level and one to the folder level. The instructions for accessing the two different indexes for the search are here:
    • If you find the item referenced in the system, please forward use the citation in the search result, and we can pull those ahead of time.

3. Contact the UHCL Archives to schedule your research

  • Call the Archives at (281) 283-3962, or email to schedule a research appointment
  • When you have compiled a list of materials you would like to view, please email it to us, and we will work with you to schedule a research appointment. You will have access to only 1 box of archival material at a time.
  • You will need to use pencil when taking handwritten notes on your paper for your research.
  • You are not allowed to write on the original materials for any reason.
  • Before handling photographs and negatives, ask UHCL Archives staff for white cotton gloves, which you are required to use while researching through with photographic materials that are not in clear archival enclosures like photograph sleeves. 
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