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Searching Special Collections and University Archives

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You Visit Tour. Perry Library June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Search and Learn How to Use ODU's Special Collections and University Archives

Use the following search tools to find things in the special collections and university archives.


ODU Archives Database Man stands in doorway in 1919

Search our database of Archives Collection Guides, also called Finding Aids, which provide details about our archival collections. Watch this helpful video for tips about using the database.

ODU Digital Collections Cheerleaders and Big Blue on Basketball Court

Search thousands of digitized and born-digital rare and unique images, documents, oral histories, and videos about the history of ODU, the region, and nation.

Research Guides Students conducting research in Special Collections

Learn tips and tricks for using archives in your class assignments and research projects, and browse collections by research topic.




Old Dominion University Archives

Original ODU Building in the 1930s

The University Archives document the unique history of ODU from it's founding in 1930. To learn more about how to find things in the University Archives, use the following resources:

Guide to Researching ODU History
Tips and tricks for finding photographs, records, documents, and more in the ODU Archives

ODU History Wiki
An online encyclopedia of ODU History with new entries added all the time!

ODU Photographic Collection
Over 20,000 digitized photographs documenting the history of ODU.



Special Collections and Archives Documenting Local, Regional, and National History

World War One Photographs

The Libraries' Special Collections and University Archives collects, preserves, and provides access to unique primary sources, archives, and rare books that document the history of the local and Coastal Virginia Region, and beyond.

Research Guide for Special Collections and University Archives
Browse collections by research topic, including African American History and Culture, Women's History, Military History, Life Sciences, and more!

Desegregation of Virginia Education (DOVE) Collabortive
The DOVE collabortive was created to find, catalog, and encourage the preservation of records that tell the story of Virginia's school desegregation process. Hosted by Old Dominion University Libraries, DOVE is a collaboration of universities, libraries, and community groups.



Rare Books and Periodicals

Maritime Rare Books

Thousands of rare volumes focusing primarily on Virginia history, literature, and art, but also covering many other subjects from the 15th-21st centuries.

Notable Collections Include:



Videos, Oral Histories, and other Audiovisual Collections

Women smiling and standing together in a park

Oral histories, video, and other audiovisual materials provide important personal accounts of historical events.

Notable Collections Include:

WTAR-WTKR Hampton Roads, Virginia Historic News Film Collection
Over 2,000 historic news clips from local televisionnews station WTAR, now known as WTKR virtual channel 3, the CBS-affiliated television station from the 1940s-1970s.

Oral History Collection
Over 100 oral histories, available on audio cassette in Perry Library's Special Collections on a variety of topics have been digitized and made available here.



Music Special Collections in the Diehn Composers Room

Librarian sits with music archives in the Diehn Composers Room

While our main location in Perry Library contains music special collections on a variety of topics, collections focusing on Virginia composers and conductors are housed in the Diehn Composers Room in the Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Building.

Guide to Music Special Collections
Learn how to find and use music special collections in the Diehn Composers Room

F. Ludwig Diehn Composers Room Webpage
Hours, contact information, and more information about the Diehn Composers Room