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About WashU 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.

How can we help you?

Listed on this page are just a few of the unique ways we can help your department.   If you have any questions, or would like to tour the archives or conduct research, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Approximately 25% of archive patrons who call, email, or visit the University Archives are WU staff members, searching for information related to the University's 150-plus years of history.

University Publications

University Archives often provides images and historic research to the writers of the Washington University Magazine.  Below are a few examples:


Alumni and staff from all academic divisions access campus yearbooks and historic photograph collections for reunion invitations, facebook pages, event displays, memory books, and more.

Wright, Ulrich, Gorman visit Archives

Pictured: Adam Ulrich, Denver Wright, & Joseph Gorman (Class of 1964) review soccer images at University Archives to find the perfect shot for their 50th Reunion memory video. March 3, 2014 (University Archives Staff photo).

Campus Community

Here are just a few recent examples of how the campus community benefits from working with the Washington University Archives (WUA):

Fund Development staff created thank you gifts for 2012-13 Annual Fund using the WUA collection "Names That Live."

Campus architects and designers regularly consult archived plans and images when renovating or remodeling campus buildings.

EH &S Radiation Safety Division consulted the archives to determine when campus buildings were constructed, and therefore which might have hazardous emergency lights.

The Art on Campus Program is using the earliest campus architecture documents to provide historical perspective and background for the commissioned artists.

Public Affairs Newsroom staff works closely with WUA staff to locate historic images needed for outside media requests, generally needed on very short notice. The archives also regularly contributes to campus publications, such as this article honoring the life of Dean Burt Wheeler.

University Administration:
WUA archives the official records created by the Chancellor, and provide access for his office staff, and authorized researchers. A similar service is provided for the records of the Provost, Board of Trustees, Faculty Senate, and other offices.

WU Memory

Schools and departments find the archives very useful as they celebrate anniversary years, faculty milestones, or other special events: