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Search Strategies for Special Collections

Manuscripts Collections

If your interest in our Manuscripts Collections is broad, begin by consulting our Subject Guide, where collections are listed by general topic. You will find links to the individual collections and online finding aids. If your interest is specific (name, place, event, title), begin with our Keyword Index, where all of the collections’ index terms are merged into one main index. Use your browser's Find feature (Ctrl-F) to search for the initial three letters in your keyword and then again on the page of search results. If you know the name of the collection you are interested in, you may look for it in our alphabetical list of collections. Most of the collections link to an online finding aid with folder registers and an index. However, many of our important collections were processed before the digital age and are represented here on the webpage by name only. Typed finding aids are available for most of these and can be viewed in the Special Collections reading room.

Rare Books

Our rare books may be viewed only in our reading room; they do not circulate. To search for a book in our holdings, use GEORGE, Georgetown University Library's online catalog. LAU SPCOLL is the location designation for books in Special Collections.

University Art Collection

The Fine Prints Collection can be searched by browsing the list of artists' names or the list of artists and titles online. Current and many past exhibitions in the Fairchild Gallery can be browsed for inventory, descriptions and images on the Special Collections Exhibitions webpage.

University Archives

For those interested in researching aspects of the University’s history, our Guide to the University Archives can provide a logical starting point. Also available are a selection of essays on University history and a sampling from the Archives photographic collection. Please note that records from the University Archives do not circulate. All published documents housed in the Archives are open for use. The following restrictions govern the use of unpublished documents.

Pre-1971 : Unpublished material dated 1970 and before may be used with the permission of the University Archivist or the creating office, unless otherwise restricted.

1971–present : Unpublished material dated 1971 and after may be consulted only with the permission of the office that created it.