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