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Special Collections & Archives Research Guide

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

Our Collections and Services

Special Collections and University Archives staff help engage students, faculty, staff, and the general public with our collections in a number of ways:

  • Instruction: We specialize in archival and primary source literacy instruction, involving active-learning exercises and the development of practical research skills.
  • Research Help: Archivists provide one-to-one and group consultations on research projects at any stage of the research process. 
  • Telling ODU's Story: We actively collect and preserve archival materials that document the history of ODU!
  • Community Engagement: In addition to preserving our community's history, we collaborate with community organizations and individuals on events, exhibitions, digitization initiatives, publications, digital humanities projects, etc.

What Do We Collect?

  • Special Collections: Our primary resources cover a wide variety or topics and formats, including maps, documents, letters, photographs, diaries, film, oral histories, music compositions, engineering plans, public health records, posters, reports, art work, etc.
  • University Archives: The memory of ODU and include thousands of photographs of university life, oral histories, faculty and administrative papers, posters, newspapers, oral histories, film, scrapbooks, etc.
  • Rare books, newspapers, and artifacts: Examples include signed artist books, local historical volumes, rare poetry and fiction books, journals and newspapers, ancient artifacts, recording equipment, etc. 

Our Locations

Special Collections & University Archives in Perry Library Located on the 3rd floor of Perry Library, our main special collections location contains records of enduring value to the University, state, and nation.

F. Ludwig Diehn Composers Room Music Special Collections Located alongside the Music Library in the Diehn Center for the Performing Arts, this collections specializes in historical and contemporary music collections by composers, conductors, musicians, etc. 

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