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Archival Research: Intro

USN Digital Archives Collection

Archival Research

This guide is intended to help you conduct archival research. You will find information on visiting USN's own archive as well as other local archives in Nashville. There is also a section on other online archives, from around the country and around the world.

For more general historical research, visit the General History Research Help guide.

What is an Archive?

Archives are specialized collections of rare or unique historical materials, intended to be handled carefully and used for historical research. Archives are comprised mostly of primary sources providing information about a place, institution, or a group of people. Often, the items in an archive are the only ones of their kind.

An archive may contain primary sources such as:

  • manuscripts
  • letters
  • diaries
  • newspapers
  • rare books
  • photographs
  • videos
  • sound recordings
  • artworks
  • artifacts

Many archives also digitize some of their items and put them online, in a digital archive.

Contact the USN Archivist

Jenny Winston's picture
Jenny Winston