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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.

Contact Info

contact special collections

Archive, Manuscript & Rare Book collections are accessed in Olin Library at the Special Collections reading room.

HOURS:  Monday - Friday 9:00-5:00 by appointment

LOCATION:  Olin Library, 1st floor, Danforth Campus


*collections stored offsite require advance notice for retrieval and use

Questions about a specific topic? Contact:

University Archives: Sonya Rooney

Rare Books: Cassie Brand

Manuscript: Joel Minor 

Local History: Miranda Rectenwald

Dowd Illustration Research Archive: interim curator

Film & Media Archive: Andy Uhrich

Smith Academy in St. Louis

Thomas Sterns Eliot attended Smith Academy, the boy’s Preparatory School of Washington University for the following years:

First year class, 1899-1900Smith Academy, building exterior 1902-03

Second year class, 1900-01

Third year class, 1901-1902

Fourth year class, 1902-03

Fifth year Classical student, 1903-1904

Sixth year student, 1904-1905

Specific information about TSE in the Smith Academy Collection :

Digital copies of these items are available to researchers upon request; they are currently not online. Contact the WU Archives staff for more information. 

TSE gym / sports measurements (health ledger page 28 and 29) – digitized

1905 Commencement invitation – digitized

1905 Commencement, 2 page program – digitized – lists TSE in graduating class

1904 flyer / notice from Harvard listing changes to student admission exams for English class (relevant for TSE attending Harvard after Smith) – digitized

1904 Chapel program given for Christmas (lists TSE as speaking) – digitized 

1905 February 2, typed letter to Smith Academy staff listing students selected to participate in Public Speaking event (lists [TS] Eliot for 6th year class) – digitized 

1905 Field Day entrance ticket (event held for Class of 1905, however TSE did not participate in sports & unknown if he attended) – digitized

1905 February, Smith Academy Record pages 1-3, “Fable for Feasters” by TSE – digitized

1905 April, Smith Academy Record pages 1-3, “Tale of a Whale” and “Lyric” by TSE – digitized

1899-1904 (various pages), Smith Academy Record description of chapel exercises during TSE years of attendance - digitized

University policy for student records follows the FERPA guidelines requiring permission from a deceased person's heirs/estate for permission to view their academic grades.  Please contact WU Archives staff for further details.    

TSE grades from individual classes – digitized and transcribed [restricted]

TSE final exam grades – digitized [restricted]

Campus Connections

Campus Visit 1933:

  • Student Life newspaper January 10, 1933, p 1 (digitized)
  • Student Life newspaper January 13, 1933, p 1 (digitized)
  • Student Life newspaper January 17, 1933, p1, 4 (digitized)
  • Alumni Bulletin, February 1933, p 2 (digitized)

Photographs available:

  • T.S. Eliot receiving honorary degree hood, June 1953 (digitized)
  • T.S. Eliot at Desk, mid-Twentieth Century, undated (digitized, #WU7)

 Campus Visit 1953:

  • audio tape of T.S. Eliot speaking at Commencement, June 9, 1953

T.S.E. Correspondence

Digital copies of these items are available to researchers upon request; they are currently not online. Contact the WU Archives staff for more information. 

Otto Heller Papers:

  • Letter from T.S. Eliot to Otto Heller, May 5, 1923 (digitized)

Arthur Holly Compton Personal Papers:

  • Letter from T.S. Eliot to Dr. Compton regarding Honorary Degree, July 17, 1953 (digitized)
  • Letter from T.S. Eliot to Mrs. Compton regarding a missed visit, August 20, 1953 (digitized)

T.H. Eliot Personal Papers (S01, B02, Correspondence E, 1962-66):

  • Note from T.H. Eliot commenting on meeting TSE and about his poetry, October 21, 1963
  • 1965, printed program from Washington, D.C. Meorial Service for T.S.Eliot
  • Letter from Tom D. Eliot to T.H. Eliot about family and attending memorial service for TSE in England, Feb 10, 1965

Eliot Family Collections

T.S. Eliot [Thomas Sterns] is the grandson of Washington University co-founder, William Greenleaf Eliot

Collections at University Archives:

Books about the Eliot Family

Published works: