When approaching your archives, it's important to stay organized from the beginning to ease the research and writing processes later on. Toward that end, here are a few suggestions for doing primary source research.
Before going to the archive, have the following information prepared:
A good scholar organizes and tags their material as they go. It's a terrible feeling to remember that you read that interesting thing once and to have no idea when or where.
There are two main purposes to your keywords:
Begin collecting keywords before you visit the archive to use as search terms to look through finding aids or archival catalogs. To do this, write out your research question (i.e., why did the chicken cross the road in 1975 in Brighton, MA?).
All those keywords you selected for going into the archive should be used as metadata for sorting and organizing your primary sources. There are a few vital pieces of information you should note and track as you work:
Consider using Zotero and/or Tropy to keep that information in a centralized spot.