University Library

History Resource Guide

Finding Sources Across Time and Space

Primary Source Search Strategies

If researching Washington and Lee University's history, a great place to start is with W&L's Special Collections & Archives. Remember, not all primary sources are available online.

The process of navigating archives, and archival material, differs conducting traditional library database research, in that:

  • Archival research can requires an in-person visit. 
  • Specific words used for types of materials, like ephemera or incunabula
  • Users search "finding aid" collections in order to identify relevant sources--not merely searching a library catalog.

Thankfully, the Society for American Archivists, created a guide that highlights:

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

Access the full guide by clicking this button!  

Search W&L's Holdings

W&L's Special Collections & Archives collects, preserves, and makes accessible materials supporting the diverse teaching and research needs of our students, faculty, staff, and the greater community. For questions, SpecialCollections@wlu.edu.

Existing Scholarship & Exhibits on W&L