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Special Collections & Archives Research Guide

Learn how to access, use and experiment with primary resources in the learning laboratory!

Archives in Perry Library and the Diehn Composers Room

Browse or keyword search our database of Collection Guides

  • Collections Guides, also known as Finding Aids, provide detailed lists and descriptions of our archives collections
    • Collections are named after the main subject of the collection and/or the person or organization that donated the
    • You can search for keywords within a single collection, or across multiple collections. For example, a key word search for "Civil Rights" will bring up over 15 collections related to the Civil Rights Movement.
    • Information about a collection's "box lists' and "folder numbers." This is because archives are stored safely and securely in folders and archival boxes. When you find an item you are interested in, make note of the box and folder numbers. 

Digital Collections

Browse or Search our Digital Collections Online! 

  • ODU Digital Collections:

    • We have digitized and made several of our collections freely available online. Our digital collections focus primarily on military history, women's history, Massive Resistance and School Desegregation in Virginia, Civil Rights, oral histories, local news film, LGBTQ+ history, and ODU history. Digitizing archival materials is very expensive and time consuming so we are grateful for the support of our generous donors, including ODU Alumna Margo Horner ('75)

    • Website archives of the Virginia Opera, dating from 2021 to the present, are available via the Internet Archive thanks to support from the Eleanor J. Bader Fund. 

  • ODU History Websites
    • A list of websites that document university history and scholarly activities, including digital collections, exhibitions, web archives, and more!
  • ODU Digital Commons
    • A constantly updated digital repository of faculty and student publications, including yearbooks, thesis and dissertations.

Rare Books

Find Rare Books

  • Use Monarch OneSearch to discover rare and unique books in ODU's Special Collections. Browse our holdings by selecting "Special Collections" under the location tab on the left.  
  • We specialize in rare books and newspapers about Hampton Roads/Norfolk history, early American History, Literature and Poetry, Art, and Music. 
  • You can browse the Alyn F. Fife Maritime Collection to learn about our rare volumes on maritime history, logistics, and law. 
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