Archive Discovery: A How-To Guide

This guide is intended to teach you how to discover archives and evaluate online collections.

Search Tools to Discover Physical Archive Collections

The following tools can be used to search descriptions of archive collections. This will not provide images of specific items in the collection, but it can at least reveal what libraries and institutions own useful collections on a subject.

A Few Major Archival Catalogs and Finding Aids

Using Archives: A Guide for the Inexperienced

Using Archives: A Guide from the SAA

This web-based guide covers:

  • How archives function
  • How to identify appropriate archives for your research
  • How to access historical materials and research at an archives


Staff member retrieving files from The National Archives

Photo by The National Archives (United Kingdom) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


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