You are here: American University University Library Collections AURA and AUDRA


Not sure where to deposit materials? American University library has two digital collections:

Both AURA and AUDRA primarily house AU-created and co-created materials.

More information about these two repositories, along with the types of materials contained in each, are below.

If you have questions, please email or for more information.

AURA Inclusion

Original research contributions that add to knowledge, understanding, and/or scholarly discourse. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Scholarship and translated research outputs, including syllabi and educational resources, datasets, non-peer-reviewed translated research articles, and some multimedia.
  • Versions of research manuscripts, e.g., preprints, submitted manuscripts, accepted manuscripts.
  • Mirrors of published version of OA materials, on request only (e.g., OA journal articles – the Library will not harvest or upload these materials automatically).
  • Student research collected with the express purpose of sharing materials with a public audience (e.g., materials that promote coursework for a program, materials that contribute to the scholarly discourse, educational materials for reuse).
  • Faculty educational materials to share with a public audience (e.g., open syllabi, slides, OER content).
  • Electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs).
  • Limited acceptance of non-AU materials as part of a multi-institutional research collection.

AUDRA Inclusion

AUDRA houses digitized and born-digital university archives and special collections.

The University Archives

The University Archives chronicles the history of American University through the records created by administrators, staff, faculty, students, and alumni through the university’s administrative functions and activities. Collections are organized into broad subject groups such as early history files, university publications, records related to buildings and grounds, records of student groups and organizations, administrative and faculty records, records of academic units, university oral history collections, university photographs, films and videos, and legacy student research submitted in fulfillment of a degree (traditional paper theses and dissertations, MFA projects, and honors capstones). Specific collections include:

  • Non-traditional theses (e.g., art history)
  • Records created during the course of university co-curricular activities
  • Archives of university and student publications
  • Personal papers from faculty and alumni

Special Collections

Special Collections includes rare books and other papers, manuscripts, and collections deemed irreplaceable or uniquely valuable. These are typically not university-related, but have thematic significance to researchers. Strengths include journalism, social movements, international relations, the Peace Corps, local history, the federal government, American University faculty personal papers, and much more Among its many collections are:

  • The Peace Corps Community Archive
  • Japanese Woodblock prints
  • Patrick Frazier Political and Social Movements Collection


Some materials may not be appropriate for either respository. these include:

  • Student research with no clear intended public audience or purpose beyond the class, individually or as a group of research outputs.
  • Non-ETD projects for a degree (e.g., portfolios, recent capstones).
  • Materials without necessary permissions to make publicly available (e.g., copyrighted material, material obtained without consent of author or other contributors).
  • Multimedia materials that aren’t primary sources with advanced metadata or AV needs (e.g., embedded media players).
  • Any materials requiring excessive storage commitments (determined on a case-by-case basis).

Archives and Special Collections

The Archives of American University chronicle more than one hundred years of the University's history. Collections include documents (paper & electronic), films, videos, sound recordings, and photographic images.

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