Skip to Main Content
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.
ArchiveGrid This link opens in a new window
Search collection descriptions for nearly a million collections of historical documents, personal papers, and family histories held in archives around the world. Identify what material an archive holds and how to request copies or arrange a visit.See screenshots of how to use this site...
WorldCat (FirstSearch) This link opens in a new window
Search tens of thousands of library catalogs around the world to find books and other items, including archival collection descriptions.See screenshots of how to use this site...
C19: The Nineteenth Century Index This link opens in a new window
Includes citations for specific documents, but also descriptions of archival collections. Emphasizes archives on the 19th century. See screenshots of how to use this site...
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
Photo by The National Archives (United Kingdom) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons