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Special Collections and Archives Department Launches Its First Online Search Tool

Researchers now have an easy way to comb through the 1,000 collections of manuscripts and photographs at Washington and Lee University’s Special Collections and Archives. “The department has launched its first online search tool, which will enable researchers to discover these treasures,” said Alston Cobourn, digital scholarship librarian at W&L. “It contains descriptive information about manuscript and photographic collections, as well as institutional records. Scans of documents from some collections are available online, and links to these are included when available.”

The department holds the collections of such organizations as the Rockbridge Historical Society, the American Shakespeare Center and the Mountain Valley Preservation Association. A diverse set of subjects includes American and Virginia history, regional genealogy, the history of propaganda, and Southern literature and theater.

The tool contains a basic description of all its university archives’ record groups, the vast majority of its manuscript collections, and many of W&L’s photographic collections, with more information being added daily. The department is beginning to add descriptions of the Rockbridge Historical Society’s manuscript collections as well.

The search tool can be accessed through the Special Collections and Archives webpage at library.wlu.edu/specialcollections.

If you have questions about the department’s materials, please call (540) 458-8663.