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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 is open by appointment only. Please contact us to schedule an appointment, and for donation inquiries and reference requests. Research inquiries are taken 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


Spring Valley Building
4801 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 204

Regular Hours

Mon - Thurs: 10 AM - 4 PM
by appointment only
Fri: Appointments unavailable
Sat - Sun: CLOSED