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About University 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.

Contact Archive Staff

NOTICE: University Archive & St. Louis History collections are accessed at Special Collections, in Olin Library on the Danforth Campus).


* Hours M-F 9:00-5:00 *

Contact: 314-935-5495

Located: Olin Library, 1st floor

Please call or e-mail before you visit to reserve your space in the research room.

University Archivist: Sonya Rooney

Curator of Local History: Miranda Rectenwald

About University Archives

University Archives supports scholarship in many academic fields by preserving and providing access to over 300 unique collections that chronicle the history of Washington University from 1853 to today, as well as related St. Louis history and architectural topics.

Washington University Archives (WUA) is open to all members of the University community: undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff; as well as to outside researchers.

The collections contain a wealth of primary sources and other historical materials that include manuscripts, photographic prints and negatives, books, film, sound recordings, microfilm, architectural plans, and artifacts. 

Most collections chronicle the history of Washington University from 1853 to the present day.  These collections include papers and artifacts relating to student, faculty, and administrative life, such as:

  • student produced publications such as the student newspaper Student Life  (1878-present) and The Hatchet yearbook (1903-2011)

  • professional & personal papers of faculty members such as Arthur Holly Compton

  • early documents from the University's founding, including the papers of  Rev. William Greenleaf Eliot

Other collections relate to 20th century St. Louis history, with a focus on:

  • business

  • transportation

  • politics

  • social welfare

  • urban planning

  • architecture

University Archives is part of the Washington University Library System, Department of Special Collections.


Physical Location:
Danforth Campus
Olin Library - 1st floor
Department of Special Collections


Our mailing address:
Washington University Archives
Olin Library
One Brookings Drive, Campus Box 1061
St. Louis, MO 63130