You have probably seen articles on how to plan a research trip, how to prepare for a visit to a cemetery, etc. But how about preparing for a visit to an archive?
The thought of going to an actual archive can be intimidating to some people, but help is here. The Society of American Archivists has produced some guidance on effectively using archives. It covers such topics as the difference between archives and libraries, how to plan a visit, and usage guidelines.
If you wish, there is also a PDF version of the guide that you can download. You can read the article at http://www2.archivists.org/usingarchives