Archives are collections of historically important material that are organized and made accessible to preserve information on individuals and organizations. These materials provide evidence of the day-to-day activities of the people and organizations which originally created the collections. Materials considered "archival" could be, but are not limited to, photographs, correspondence, minutes, maps, audio-visual material, and publications.
For sound practical advice on preparing for and conducting archival research, please see:
Documents related to American History are also held in British and European Archives. You may, therefore, also wish to consider:
On Campus resources:
- Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library: Home to books and periodicals in architecture, historic preservation, art history, painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, city planning, real estate, and archaeology.
- Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary: Home to the largest theological library in the western hemisphere, containing rich collections for theological study and research.
- Oral History Archive: With over 15,000 interviews, this is one of the largest oral history collections in the United States. It is unique in the nation in that it has never been confined in its scope to one region or area of historical experience.
- Social Agency Collection in Lehman Library
- Rare Book & Manuscript Library: Columbia’s principal repository for primary source collections. The range of collections in RBML span more than 4,000 years and comprise rare printed works, cylinder seals, cuneiform tablets, papyri, and Coptic ostraca; medieval and renaissance manuscripts; as well as art and regalia.