Finding primary source materials

Finding Primary Source Materials

Our collections offer extraordinary research opportunities. Particular strengths include Oregon heritage: history and politics, the University of Oregon, documentary photography, lives of women, intentional communities and alternative voices, pioneers and tribal peoples. With thousands of complex collections to choose from, finding just what you need can be hard. We offer the following resources:

  • Ask us! Send a query through Or come into the Paulson Reading Room; our staff is very knowledgeable about our collections and can show you local indexes and catalogs.
  • Search Archives West, a consortium database that has finding aids (inventory lists) for several hundred archive collections across the Northwest, including the University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives (UOSCUA). See the quicklist of online finding aids. To limit your search to collections at UOSCUA, simply select our name from the "Institution" drop down menu.
  • Search the ArchiveGrid, a database of archive collections across the world, including those from the University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives.
  • Browse detailed Subject Guides (lists of archive collections by subject) and the University Archives page.
  • Search the local catalog. Be aware that many of our collections are not yet included in that database.
  • Read the Libraries' Research Guide to Primary Source Materials.
  • New to archival research or want a refresher? Read the Society of American Archivist's Using Archives: A Guide to Effective Research.


Created by nhelmer on Jun 18, 2012 Last updated Aug 7, 2015