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Guide to Searching Special Collections

Collection Inventories Search

Enter your search terms below to search all of our finding aids. Search by author, keywords or subject.

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The majority of the archival and manuscript collections in the SCRC are housed offsite and require 3-5 business days' advance notice for retrieval. It is best to contact us well in advance of your visit in order to ensure your materials will be delivered in time.

Search Library Catalog

Most Special Collections items (including books, maps, ephemera, graphics, and most collections) have records in the catalog.

Once you enter your search terms and hit search, try the following techniques to limit your results:

  • To limit your search to items at GW Special Collections, use the Refine Results menu on the right to limit first by institution (George Washington University), and then by library (GW: Gelman Special Collections).
  • You can also refine results in the right side column to limit results to Archival Material, Sound Recording, Video, Visual Resource, etc.
  • If you locate a archival or manuscript collection, click on the View the Finding Aid link to access in-depth information about the collection.

Browse Archival Collections by Topic

Browse finding aids to archival collections held by the SCRC in a variety of broad topical areas. Special Collections also maintains a list of all archival finding aids listed alphabetically.

Browse Bibliographies

These are guides highlighting the books, maps, and other materials Special Collections holds on particular topics (such as LGBT Resources, American Labor History, or Maps of Washington, D.C.) to assist researchers interested in a specific topic or collection.

Search Archival Collections in ArchiveGrid

Each of our archival collections has a record and a link to a finding aid in ArchiveGrid, a freely accessible database of archival materials from thousands of libraries, museums, and archives. You can do a custom search of GW's collections in ArchiveGrid by clicking this link. Just type your search terms in the box, and don't delete the text that is already there.

Browse Digital Collections

The Special Collections Research Center has several digitized collections available online.

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