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Archives and Special Collections

Alert: Archives and Special Collections Location

Archives and Special Collections is now located at 4801 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 204. Please call (202) 885-3256 to schedule an appointment to do research. Thank you for your patience.

Archives and Special Collections acquires, preserves and makes available to researchers unique materials of enduring value to support research and teaching.

Access and Services:

Archives and Special collections materials do not circulate and its stacks are closed. American University faculty, staff, students, and other researchers are accorded access to these materials in the Archives Reading Room. Appointments to conduct research are strongly encouraged. Research inquiries are taken in person, by telephone, by e-mail, or by mail. Library services are carried out in accordance with U.S. and International Copyright laws and treaties. Photocopy and digitization requests may be denied if materials are fragile.

Digital Collections:

American University Library offers a variety of digital repositories and collections.

Manuscript Collections:

The Manuscript Collections contain papers of American University alumni and faculty and as well as organizational records relating to international affairs, journalism, music, peace studies, public service, and religion.

Spring Valley Building, 4801 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 204

(202) 885-3256

(202) 885-1141


Mon - Fri: 9am-5pm by appointment only
Sat - Sun: CLOSED

Performing Arts Collections:

The Performing Arts Collections consist of programs of ballet, orchestra, opera and theatre productions in London, New York, and Washington, D.C., from the early twentieth century to the present.

Rare Books Collections:

Special Collections maintains several collections of rare published and printed resources on a variety of topics including art, Japanese history and culture, literature, mathematics, music, and religion. Items in the rare books collections may be located using the library catalog.

University Archives:

The University Archives chronicles the history of American University from its founding in 1893 to the present and includes materials such as audiovisual materials, correspondence, minutes, reports, photographs, and university publications.

For a photographic chronicle of the history of American University, please visit Eagle Lore: Windows into American University History.

For information on new acquisitions and featured collections, please visit our New & Noteworthy Blog.