Access & Request Materials

How to Contact Us

Do you have a question about our holdings or how to get started on your research? Contact the RAC Access team at archive@rockarch.org. We will respond to your inquiry within ten (10) business days.

How to Research at the RAC

Anyone can conduct research at the RAC. If we have archival materials that can be useful to your research topic, you are welcome here.

Because of limited seating capacity, researchers need an appointment in order to conduct in-person research in the RAC’s Reading Room. Contact the RAC Access team at archive@rockarch.org to make your appointment.

You will also need to create a researcher account in RACcess, our online request and duplication management system.

Get started on your research by searching our online finding aid catalog DIMES.

As with our archival materials, Library materials are non-circulating and are only available in the RAC’s reading rooms.

For more details about the accessibility of the physical space, see our Accessibility Statement.

When We’re Open

The RAC is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, except for designated holidays.

Inclement weather can sometimes require the RAC to close for the safety of our staff and researchers. During the winter, if ice or snow is predicted for suburban New York, it is advisable to telephone the RAC at (914) 366-6300. A recording noting a closure or delayed opening is generally posted by 7:30 a.m. If you have a scheduled research appointment, we will also do our best to email you with as much advanced notice of the closure as possible.

Amenities

Since the RAC is not located near restaurants or stores, we encourage researchers to bring their own lunches. We have a researcher lounge with a refrigerator, toaster oven, and microwave. We also provide assorted cold beverages, tea and coffee, and individually packaged snacks.

Several food delivery apps also deliver to the RAC, including UberEats, GrubHub, and DoorDash. Researchers are welcome to order lunch from those services for delivery to the RAC’s address: 15 Dayton Avenue, Sleepy Hollow New York 10591.

WiFi is available throughout the RAC.

How to Get to the RAC

By Car

The RAC is located at 15 Dayton Avenue, Sleepy Hollow, New York 10591.

By Train from New York City

The RAC is easily accessible by train from Grand Central Terminal in New York City to Tarrytown on the Metro-North Hudson Line.

The RAC provides complimentary car service transportation to and from RAC for the following trains:

  • Departs Grand Central 8:15 a.m. Arrives Tarrytown 9:09 a.m.
    • Car service leaves the Tarrytown station for the RAC promptly at 9:15 am. Driver will be holding a sign indicating which car is for the Rockefeller Archive Center.
  • Departs Tarrytown 5:42 p.m. Arrives Grand Central 6:42 p.m
    • Car service leaves the RAC for the Tarrytown train station promptly at 5:15 pm. Driver will be parked in the front circle at the main entrance to the RAC.

The train schedule may be subject to change, so be sure to check the Metro-North web site to verify departure times.

If you miss the RAC car service or take a different train, you may still go to and from the RAC via taxi or car service app such as Uber or Lyft. There is a taxi stand at the Tarrytown train station. The RAC’s address is 15 Dayton Avenue, Sleepy Hollow NY 10591.

Before Your Visit

If you’ve never been to the RAC before (or if it’s been a while and you’d like a refresher), we’ll schedule a virtual orientation which should not take more than 30 minutes. We’ll review the reading room policies and procedures, familiarize you with our facility, and chat further about your project and the archival collections.

What You Can Expect When You Get Here

For more details about the accessibility of the physical space, see our Accessibility Statement.

When you arrive on the first day of your scheduled research visit, please proceed up the stairs to the second floor. The reading rooms are at the end of the hallway.

We’re an archive of important historical materials, so we do have a few simple rules that we ask all researchers to follow when they’re in the RAC’s Reading Room:

  • Place your outerwear, bags, and other nonessential items in the lockers provided.
  • Use only pencils and laptops for notes. No pens.
  • Food, beverages, and chewing gum are not permitted.
  • Review one folder at a time and mark its place in the box with the OUT card provided
  • Items in folders should not be rearranged or removed.
  • Avoid placing other items on top of documents. Ask the desk monitor for book weights.
  • If metal fasteners need to be removed, ask the desk monitor for assistance.

The top shelf of the cart will be kept clear, and you should place the box you are actively using on the top shelf so that there is plenty of room on your table for a folder and your laptop.

Our Reading Room can be cool at times, so be sure and bring a sweater. Generally speaking, you may use a digital camera or your phone or tablet to photograph collection materials for research and educational purposes. However, the desk monitors may place some restrictions on your photography if the archival materials being handled are fragile or in poor condition.

The RAC has several microfilm reader-scanners available in our Reading Room which enable researchers to print or to save images from microfilm onto flash drives. We encourage you to bring your own flash drive if you anticipate using microfilm during your visit.

Duplication Services and Fee Schedule

The RAC offers duplication services for on-site and off-site researchers. If you have any questions about ordering copies of our holdings, please contact the RAC Access team at archive@rockarch.org.

The RAC may decline to copy certain documents that in its judgment may suffer damage as a result of duplication.

PLEASE NOTE: Because of increased demand for duplication services caused by the pandemic and our re-opening to onsite researchers, we are currently experiencing a greater than normal delay in fulfilling requests. We thank you for your patience as we work to reduce the backlog and complete orders in as timely a manner as possible.

PDFs or TIFF/JPEG images

Duplication requests are limited to 500 pages/images per order.

  • Unit cost: $0.50 per page/image
  • Orders are sent via electronic delivery without additional charge.

Audiovisual Materials

For on-site researchers, accessible (already digitized) audiovisual files are available for download at the RAC through our Virtual Vault.

For off-site researchers, the following fee schedule applies to audiovisual material for which we already have digital access files. If access files currently do not exist, the costs associated with “Outsourced Digitization” applies in addition to the following charges:

  • Unit cost: $10.00 per title (Format: Audio MP3 or moving image MP4)
  • Service charge: $25.00 per order
  • Audiovisual material will be delivered electronically, unless otherwise arranged. The RAC does not create DVD or CD copies.
  • Higher-resolution audiovisual files are to be arranged with the RAC. Please contact us at archive@rockarch.org for further information on time and cost estimates.

Outsourced Duplication

Duplication of any material that is oversized, bound, three-dimensional, fragile, or damaged, as well as duplication of audiovisual materials, will be outsourced to an external vendor. Please contact us at archive@rockarch.org for further details, including time and cost estimates.

The RAC strives to provide accurate general copyright information in our finding aids, but copyright ownership and restrictions can vary by collection and by author or creator of the material. It is the responsibility of the researcher/user of the material to make a determination of copyright and to obtain any necessary permissions prior to usage. Please contact the RAC Access team at archive@rockarch.org if you have specific copyright questions.

Citations

When citing archival materials at the RAC, you should include the following information which represents the basic intellectual hierarchy of the archival record and should be sufficient to locate most documents:

  • Title or description of document
  • Date of document
  • Author of document if known
  • Title of file
  • Collection title
  • Our institutional name: Rockefeller Archive Center

For larger and more complex collections, consider including the following additional information that reflects organizational file groupings or hierarchy within the records when you see it in the archival description:

  • Series (name and/or number)
  • Record Group (name and/or number)
  • Subgroup (name and/or number)

The “Cite” button in the RAC’s DIMES online finding aid catalog can be used to export relevant citation information for a file unit.

Since box numbers and folder numbers are not unique permanent identifiers, they are not reliable for citation purposes and should not be used as part of a citation.

It is the responsibility of researchers to collect the information necessary to create a proper citation while research is being conducted. The RAC’s staff cannot do this work for you.