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University Archives and Manuscripts

Information about how to conduct research in University Archives and Manuscripts.

Welcome to University Archives and Manuscripts

University Archives is the official home for the University's valuable historical documents, collections, photographs, and publications. The Archives also holds professional and personal papers of some faculty and alumni. The Archives supports the information needs of the entire University community and is open to the public, including scholarly researchers and genealogists.  If you want to research facts, people, or places connected to the University, the Archives is the place to start.

See the University Archives website for additional information.  Please contact for assistance.

Manuscripts maintains a diverse collection of personal papers and organizational records.  The Manuscripts collections are best known for American history and literary materials but those subjects only skim the surface so be sure to search Collections A-Z for a list of collections by subject.  If you want to research people and places not necessarily related to the University, Manuscripts may have material of interest to you.

See the Manuscripts website for additional information.  Please contact for assistance.

Where is University Archives and Manuscripts?

University Archives and Manuscripts are maintained in the John Hay Library at Brown University.  The John Hay Library is a special collections library with non-circulating materials - these materials can only be used in the Reading Room.

To learn more about using the John Hay Library, consult the John Hay Library website or contact Library staff.

Need help with a class?

Working on a research assignment?

Preparing a class session for students to use primary sources?

Not sure where to go? 

University Archives and Manuscripts provide vibrant sources with which to conduct research and engage classes using original sources.

Contact University Archives and Manuscripts to help you get started using our collections and staff expertise:

University Archives: Please contact staff in advance at for access to archival materials or research assistance.  You will receive notification when materials have been placed on reserve.

Manuscripts: Contact the subject librarian listed in Collections A-Z or find a subject librarian in your area of interest.

Review Archives Resources, Finding Aids, and Plan a Visit.

Review the Guide to Research for general topics.