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St. Louis History -- Archival Sources

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

Welcome to ArchivesSpace

Spring 2021: Special Collections is in the process of migrating finding aids to ArchivesSpace. Please note that some finding aids have not yet been transferred into ArchivesSpace but are still available in our current system, Archon. If you need assistance locating a collection, please contact us for more information.

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

For St. Louis history sources available online see

Finding Aids by Subject: St. Louis History

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

Materials listed in the guides below are accessed at Special Collections in Olin Library: 

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

East St. Louis History

More Resources

Need Citation help?

Some information is on-line for citing in Chicago Manual format:

Or, try this handy guide book: