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About WU Archives

This guide will help you navigate University Archives' more than 300 unique collections, most of which document the history of Washington University from 1853 to today. Other collections are related to 20th century St. Louis history.

Finding Aids by Subject: St. Louis History

This page is an overview of primary and secondary sources available in University Archives and the WU Libraries about local history in St. Louis, with an emphasis on community groups and urban planning.

Finding aids for suggested collections are linked below.  Materials listed are available in University Archives: 

Primary Sources: St. Louis City Directories

Each directory is slightly different in contents and layout to search for a name or address.  They are a good primary source for St. Louis history. (Note: not all directories are available online)

St. Louis Newspapers (White predominatly)

St. Louis Newspapers (African American predominatly)

Please contact organizations directly for newspapers not located at Olin Library (WUSTL).

Online access and search-ability is available for the noted African-American newspaper, Chicago Defender, which often covered national news as well as Midwest news

Books: African-American History in St. Louis

Books on St. Louis History

Bookshelf: St. Louis Chinese-American Community

More Resources