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Stanford Archives Reference and Research Guide: Introduction

This guide offers an introduction to researching Stanford history using University Archives collection materials and includes instructions for identifying, accessing and working with Special Collections materials.


This guide is intended to help users research Stanford University history by providing an organized way to navigate archival collections, online exhibits, and other resources.

Many of the resources referenced in this guide are hosted, administered by, or managed by Stanford University Archives, part of the Department of Special Collections & University Archives in the Stanford University Libraries. The University Archives acquires, preserves, and makes available Stanford records of enduring historic value to support the research and teaching needs of Stanford students and faculty, and a worldwide community of scholars. Collections include a wide array of materials and formats including archival records, personal papers, oral histories, photographs and other pictorial materials, maps and architectural drawings, audiovisual and born-digital materials, and artifacts.

Access to collections is provided through Stanford Libraries' Catalog, SearchWorks, the Online Archive of California, and the Aeon paging system. For more information about accessing the collections described here, please visit the Special Collections and University Archives website.

Stanford University instructors interested in teaching with Special Collections materials should consult the Teaching with Special Collections LibGuide.