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Archives and Special Collections Overview

A brief guide to learn more about Archives and Special Collections.


1. Start your archival research with a sentence or two about your topic. 

Example: I'm researching East College and its history. I'd like to know more about how the construction was funded and its architectural style.  

2. Do preliminary research on your topic.

  • Search the library catalog, for resources on your topic.
    • Tip: Limit to Archives and Special Collections

3. Browse finding aids in the Archives and Special Collections catalog.

  • Tips:
    • Select your search method using the main toolbar (e.g. Collections, Subjects, Names)
    • If using the search box, click on the “Search all record types” dropdown menu and “limit to collections.” This will generate a search on the collection-level, allowing a hierarchical search within the record
    • Multiple terms entered into the search box are handled as if connected by an OR statement. For AND statements, use the plus (+) button to add a row for each term
    • Use quotation marks around multiple words for a phrase search (e.g. “annual report”)

4. Browse the DePauw Digital Library.


  • To complete a search through multiple digital collections (e.g. Archives Documents and Photographs, University Publications, and Archives Inventories), select "Advanced Search" in the top right corner. Be sure to select any DePauw University related digital collections you'd like to search at the same time
  • Use quotation marks around multiple words for a phrase search (e.g. "annual report") 

5. Visit Archives and Special Collections by scheduling an appointment. View research visit guidelines and frequently asked questions before your visit. 

6. Bookmark these resources.

DePauw University Libraries
A wealth of information about the library's resources, staff, and a place to ask for research help.

Archives and Special Collections
Learn more information about Archives & Special Collections on our website. Included are finding aids, collection guides, donation information, and related resources.

DePauw Digital Library
The Digital Library contains a variety of photographs, publications, and other objects spanning the history of DePauw University, Putnam County, and Indiana United Methodism. The DePauw Digital Library is hosted as part of the PALNI (Private Academic Library Network of Indiana) CONTENTdm Digital Collections.

Library Catalog
The library catalog includes the DePauw University Libraries holdings as well as a growing consortium of thousands of public, school, institutional, and academic libraries in one, multi-faceted search.

Research Help
Feel free to call, text, chat, or schedule a consultation with us for additional help. You can schedule an in-person or virtual consultation with me, here.

Additional Resources

Campus Life at DePauw
This guide will help you identify analog and born-digital materials related to DePauw University faculty, staff and alumni. Also included are detailed lists of student and University publications. 

Indiana United Methodist Church
This guide will help aid your research on the history of the United Methodist Church and the United Methodist Church in Indiana. Also included are instructions detailing the transfer of local church records to the Archives and Special Collections.