You are here: American University University Library Archives and Special Collections

Due to COVID-19, as of 6:00 PM, Sunday, March 15, 2020 Archives and Special Collections is closed to non-library personnel. Those who have reference or donation inquiries should contact Thank you for your flexibility during this time.

Learn more about changes to Library services and policies.

Archives and Special Collections

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, museums, music, peace studies, public service, and religion.

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.

Contact Us

Phone: (202) 885-3256
Fax: (202) 885-1141
Spring Valley Building
4801 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 204

Regular Hours

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