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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.

Quick Search for Archival Collections

Search across University Archives, Modern Graphic History Library and Manuscript Unit finding aids:

Getting Started

Our collection material is not available on-line.  But the finding aids (inventories of the collections' materials) are available on-line. 

You can start searching the finding aids before you come to the Archives by using the search box to the left. 

Please call or email for research suggestions and assistance. Our staff is glad to help guide you with your research tasks.

When you arrive at University Archives, you will be asked to fill out a “Patron Use Form.” The form provides us with your name and contact information and why you are using the collection.  We also record what material you use.  By signing the form, you agree to the “Rules for the Use of University Archives Materials.” 

We want you to use our unique materials, however we also need to protect the material so researchers can access it in the future.  


Depending on the type and condition of the material we may be able to photocopy or scan the item(s) for you.  There are some fees for this.  Discuss all of this with the staff when you start your research.

Consider bringing a laptop, notebook, or digital camera to help you capture the information during your visit.  The staff can discuss this with you during your visit.

Need Citation help?

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

Or, try this handy guide book: