I have a post for long-term research in Mexico on a Fulbright, and I imagine it might be useful to some if I posted information regarding a short-term trip. My experience is in Spain and Mexico in historical archives, but I imagine that this information might help people going to the same countries doing non-historical research and perhaps for people going to other countries as well.
You essentially do not need a visa for short trips if you do not plan on being employed.
You can enter Spain visa-free for up to three months. I did a two month stay without any issues. Here is a link for Spain.
You can enter visa-free for up to six months. I have stayed as long as two months without a visa without any issues.
What You Need for Archives:
- I would say that almost all Spanish archives do not allow the usage of cameras, leaving the DSLR at home might cut down on weight since you won’t use it for work anyway.
- Most Mexican archives do allow photography thus bringing your best camera is always a good idea.
- Research Kit
- First Time
- One letter of introduction per archive. I always show up with an original on letterhead.
- Passport (original and a copy)
- Driver’s license and university ID (I would suggest that you always bring these to the archive)
- Daily grind
- USB Flash drive or external HDD. You never know who you might bump into and they might offer catalogs, photos of documents, search guides, or other things of interest.
- Business cards. Again, you never know who you might see and you might want to hand out a few cards
- Laptop with charger
- Cellphone charger or power bank
In sum, it is relatively simple to get into archives as long as you have a rough idea of what you are looking for and the proper documentation to get access. Short trips are great because you do not need a visa, which saves you time and money.