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Penn State University Libraries Archival Collections

About This Site

The Archival Collections database is home to collection guides (also known as finding aids) for archival materials across the Penn State University Libraries system. They interpret and provide access to collections held in the Special Collections Library, as well as other branch and Commonwealth Campus locations. They contain information about the records in the collection, the person or organization that created them, the organization of the collection, and a listing of boxes and folders.

Collections might consist of the records of an organization, the collected papers of an individual, correspondence between family members, or a collector's systematic accumulation of material on a specific topic.

Please note that some of our collections are housed offsite and require advance notification for retrieval.

Start Your Research

All researchers are welcome to visit the Special Collections Library. Learn more about how to plan your visit.

Prior to your visit, you will need to create a research account in order to request materials. Learn more about how to request materials on this site.

Toward Inclusive Collections

The Special Collections Library prioritizes building an inclusive archive through our collection development practices and our collections processing activities. Learn more about how SCL is moving toward a more inclusive archive, grounded in community-oriented collecting and description practice.

To report description that needs to be updated, please complete our description feedback form.

Find More Materials

In addition to our archival collections, the Special Collections Library holds over 200,000 books, manuscripts, scrapbooks, and maps. These can be found and requested through the library catalog.

The University Libraries Digital Collections contain digitized and born-digital content from the Special Collections Library, as well as other libraries and colleges at Penn State, and from collaborating institutions.

The Penn State University Web archives on document the history of Penn State as captured through its websites over time. Learn more about how these archives are generated and what information they capture. Certain Web archive captures may also be accessible through their collection guides on this site.