Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Has COVID19 affected research at AHAP?

A. The Archives of the History of American Psychology is currently open for research. Appointments must be made at least two weeks in advance and are available Monday - Friday, 10am-4pm. Contact Lizette Royer Barton to schedule an appointment.

Q. Do I need an appointment to visit the Archives?

A. Appointments are required and should be scheduled with the reference archivist at least two weeks in advance of your visit in order to provide staff with time to ensure materials are fully accessible. You can schedule an appointment by emailing

Q. What else do I need to know about working on-site?

A. The Dr. Charles L. and Marjorie S. Brewer Reading Room is open from 10am-4pm Monday through Friday. Take a look at our Access Policy and Use Application for OnSite Researchers to review our reading room rules and research policies.

Q. Can I check out books and other materials like I do at the library?

A. All materials housed at AHAP are non-circulating and can be used only on site in the Dr. Charles L. and Marjorie S. Brewer Reading Room.

Q. Can I make copies?

A. AHAP staff is happy to scan paper-based materials for researchers at a cost of $0.25/page. We do not make physical copies but instead scan to PDF and share via email or shared cloud storage. Researchers are welcome to take digital photographs of materials at no charge. Digitization of moving images, sound recordings, and still images are handled on a case basis depending on format and condition.

Q. Can I see everything online?

A. While we continue to work on digitization projects, both copyright issues and the sheer volume of our collections have prevented us from putting entire collections online. However, our finding aids are available online as full-text word-searchable PDFs. In addition, we have numerous records in our online repository detailing all aspects of our collections. You can always learn more about an item by emailing us at

Q. What is a finding aid and how do I use it?

A. A finding aid is an inventory (a list) of the contents and context of a collection. Finding aids include important information about collections, for example: their date range, size, a biographical or historical note about the collection’s creator, and box numbers and folder numbers. Many factors go into the processing of a collection, which can be reflected in the finding aid. Some finding aids are very detailed and materials are described down to the item level, while others are processed more broadly. The finding aid is your guide to the collection and you can review all of our available finding aids here. For help navigating the finding aid database, see this blog post by CCHP reference archivist Lizette Royer Barton.

Q. Can I reproduce your materials in my work?

A. We license materials for reproduction for a variety of projects. We require users to agree to and sign our Access Policy and Request for Digital Materials form and we do charge a licensing fee. To learn more email

Q. What is the Archives of the History of American Psychology (AHAP)?

A. As part of the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology, AHAP helps to answer the question, “What does it mean to be human?” by acquiring, preserving, and providing access to historical materials that support education and research in the history of psychology and related human sciences. The non-circulating collections represent a wide range of topics through a variety of formats including personal manuscript papers, organizational records, books, media, and artifacts.