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Answers to frequently asked questions about the Special Collections Research Account (SCRA)

What is a SCRA?

A Special Collections Research Account is the electronic system you use to request an item through NYU Special Collections as well as track the history of requests you've received previously. This system is powered by Aeon software.

Why do I need a username and password to use SCRA?

Your username and password allows us to give you secure access to information about your requests. We can also enable you to edit your personal information such as your address or phone number.

Your username can be anything you like, such as your name, abbreviations, or an alphanumeric code. Your password also can be anything you like. We recommend that you follow good security practice and choose a password that is different from those you use to access other systems. However, no one but you will know your password, not even the special collections staff. The password you set is stored encrypted.

What if I forget my password?

In the event that you forget your password, please contact Special Collections at scra@nyu.edu. We can then reset your password allowing you access to your SCRA. Please change your password once you login.

How to Place New Requests

Archival Collections
  1. Visit the Archival Collections search portal: https://specialcollections.library.nyu.edu/search.
  2. From your search results, click on the title of the collection, and you will be brought to the finding aid for that collection.
  3. In the left-hand menu, click on Click here to request materials using your Special Collections Research Account.
  4. After logging into your Special Collections Research Account, you will be brought to a request form - select the boxes/items you want to view, select an appointment date, then press the Submit Request button.
  5. You will see your request and status in the Outstanding Requests menu of your account.
  6. A staff member from Special Collections will contact you to confirm your materials request and appointment date.

Please note that there is a 12 box request limit for Tamiment/University Archives collections.

Books and Serials
  1. Visit BobCat, NYU's online catalog for bibliographic materials: http://bobcat.library.nyu.edu/.
  2. From your search results, click on the Details link for the item you want to request.
  3. In the Details screen, click on Click here to request [Fales, Tamiment, University Archives] materials at the bottom of the page.
  4. After logging into your Special Collections Research Account, you will be brought to a request form. Fill out any relevant additional information, select an appointment date, then press the Submit Request button.
  5. You will see your request and status in the Outstanding Requests menu of your account.
  6. A staff member from Special Collections will contact you to confirm your materials request and appointment date.
Materials Not Listed Online
  1. Please limit manual requests to materials which are not available via finding aids or BobCat.
  2. Fill out the appropriate manual request form here: Book/Cataloged Material, Serial, Manuscript/Archives.
  3. Enter as much information as you can, select an appointment date, then press the Submit Request button.
  4. A staff member from Special Collections will contact you to confirm your materials request and appointment date.

What Web browser should I use?

You need a Web browser that can handle forms, tables, and preferrably cascading style sheets (CSS). We recommend the current versions of either Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.

Is security a problem if I use a public workstation?

Yes. Web browsers cache information and create a history file on the local workstation. This allows a subsequent user of the workstation to access the system under your name using the browser's Back button to recall a page from the cache, or by finding a page with your personal information in the browser's history file. If you are concerned about the security of your requests, you can take the following steps:

  • Access your SCRA only from your personal computer or an otherwise secure workstation.
  • Access your SCRA from a public workstation in the Fales or Tamiment/University Archives Reading Rooms. These computers are supervised by the staff.
  • When using a public access workstation:
    1. Delete from the history file those pages that contain your personal information.
    2. Exit from the Web browser before you leave the workstation. This prevents the Back button from accessing the pages you were using.

Who do I contact if I have problems with or questions about the Special Collections Research Account.

System Problems or Questions: Email scra@nyu.edu
Technical Support Questions: Email anytime to scra@nyu.edu

Why does my browser say that you're sending a cookie? What's in it?

The technology that we use sends a Session ID to be stored on your machine. You can refuse this cookie and still be able to use your SCRA without any problems.