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History: Archives and Archival Research

What are archives?

* derived from: Schmidt, Laura, "Using Archives: A Guide to Effective Research," Society of American Archivists, 2017,

Types of archives

Archives are managed by a variety of types of institutions and the materials they collect differ. Familiarity with different kinds of archives is helpful for finding resources that are most appropriate for your research.

Major archive collections

Tips for finding other archive collections

Tips for finding archives:

  • Look at bibliographies and works cited sections in secondary books and articles to find out where they found their information.
  • Visit other history research guides. Find a list of them here.
  • Look for websites related to your topic.
  • Use an online search engine such as Google and use Advanced Search options to limit by domain
  • Ask an expert in the field or consult a reference librarian.
  • Narrow results by using Advanced Search options
  • Limit by domains
    • Examples: .edu, .org,
  • Try different search engines
    • Do a search in Google but then repeat it in DuckDuckGo
  • Go beyond the first page of results