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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Find Primary Source Materials in Special Collections, Archives, and Digital Libraries

This guide for advanced researchers focuses on finding special collections, archives, and digital libraries resources on particular individuals or topics.

About ArchiveGrid

ArchiveGrid gives the locations for archives, libraries, museums, and historical societies around the world. It has over four million records describing archival materials, including historical documents, personal papers, and family histories.You can use ArchiveGrid to find archives that have primary sources related to a particular person, topic, or event.

You can search for archives by location, zip code, and state. For more details about searching, see ArchiveGrid's How to Search page.

Person Search

To search for people using ArchiveGrid:

  1. On the ArchiveGrid homepage enter the person's name into the search box in the top right.
  2. In this example we search for the artist Georgia O'Keefe. The results page shows the "List View," which shows all results related to your keywords. ArchiveGrid person search in List View
  3. If you go to the “Summary View” you can select a person's individual record. In our example the record is for “O’Keeffe, Georgia, 1887-1986.” Selecting a person's record filters out irrelevant results, like information about other people with the same last name.
    ArchiveGrid person search summary view

Topic Search

If you aren't searching for a particular person or place you can do a keyword search which might come up with relevant results under the "List View." Looking at the "Summary View" might help identify relevant people, groups, and places to search for separately. It also provides a list of related topics you can search.

topic search summary view

Search for Local Archives

To look for local archives near you, use the search on the ArchiveGrid homepage to either enter a location or zip code, or see a list of archives by state.

This search is most useful if you are looking for archives to find materials related to local history and genealogy.