About the Department

Hours & Location

Our research hours are Monday-Friday 10:00am-4:00pm*. To schedule a time please fill out this form, email archives@wfu.edu, or call 336-758-6175. *See calendar for alternate hours or closures.

Visiting & Parking

Visitors coming from outside Winston-Salem are strongly encouraged to contact us in advance for information on availability of resources. Information about Z. Smith Reynolds Library and the Wake Forest campus, including driving directions, is available on the library web site.

To find parking on campus, please see our Parking Map. For additional information, see WFU maps and directions.

About the Research Room

The most important function of the Research Room is to provide study space for researchers and classes that are using Special Collections and Archives’ non-circulating rare materials. We ask that visiting researchers who wish to use any of our collections make an appointment at least three business days in advance of a proposed visit.

Other uses of the room, such as lectures, receptions, photo sessions, or meetings, are occasionally permitted but must be scheduled so as to minimize their impact on the department’s public services. Wake Forest faculty wishing to schedule class sessions in the Research Room should complete our request form. All other requests must be approved by the Director of Special Collections and Archives.

Information for Visitors

Can anyone use the collections?

Our collections are open to the public. Researchers are required to contact us and schedule an appointment in advance for information on availability of resources.

Can I check things out?

No, materials in Special Collections & Archives are non-circulating.

How do I get copies of your materials?

Please see our Reproduction of Materials page. Also see our ILL policy.

How do I obtain permission to use an image or a quote from your collections in a publication?

Fill out and submit this request to publish or quote permission form.

Why do I need to register to use the collections?

It is standard operating procedures for Special Collections & Archives to ask researchers to register due to the rarity and scarcity of the materials. Registration provides information about how to handle fragile materials and asks you to sign an agreement of the Research Room rules. Our staff tries to assist you with unique materials, and if we become aware of an item that might be of interest to you later then we use this information for reference purposes to get back to you.

How do I find out about your books and collections?

You can begin your research of our collections by searching the online catalog, limited to Special Collections materials. You can also search our finding aids.

How do I cite something from your collection?

To cite materials in our collection, please use following: [Collection Name], [Manuscript or Record Group number, i.e MS256], Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections and Archives, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, USA.

I have an item I want to donate. What should I do?

Please contact Tanya Zanish-Belcher (zanisht@wfu.edu), director of Special Collections & Archives, to describe what you would like to donate.

How do I get on the wireless network in the Research Room?

Campus guests may select WFU guest from the list of available networks, open a browser, and accept an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) to gain network access.

To learn more about our campus wireless networks, visit the Information Systems web page.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact the Information Systems Service Desk at help@wfu.edu or 336-758-HELP (4357).


To see a list of librarians, archivists, and staff in the department, see our staff directory.


What is a finding aid?

A finding aid is a guide to a manuscript collection. It describes the materials in a collection and also contains a scope and content note of the collection, biographical information about the creator or collector, and explains how the collection is arranged.

Here is an example of one of our finding aids.

What is preservation?

The primary goal of Preservation is to repair damaged books or materials in the library collection and return them to circulation as quickly as possible. For further information, read about preservation in our blog or contact us at 336-758-6175.

What is a manuscript?

A handwritten document. 2. An unpublished document. 3. An author’s draft of a book, article, or other work submitted for publication.

What is a manuscript collection?

A manuscript collection is a collection of personal or family papers. Although manuscript literally means handwritten, “manuscript collection” is often used to include collections of mixed media in which unpublished materials predominate. They may also include typescripts, photographs, diaries, scrapbooks, news clippings, and printed works.

Do you have any questions that we didn’t answer?

Contact us at archives@wfu.edu or 336-758-6175.