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UO REU site guide: Increasing American Indian/Alaska Natives perspectives in field and experimental linguistics

Primary Source Archives and Repositories for Languages beyond UO

About Special Collections and University Archives

Welcome to Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA)!

We are the principal repository for the University of Oregon’s historical research collections in all formats including manuscripts, printed books, maps, photographs, and prints.  The archives of the University of Oregon, including historic administrative records and personal papers of many faculty members, comprise a substantial part of the collections.  Overall, the department’s holdings include more than 20 thousand linear feet of manuscript collections.  Located in the north wing of the Knight Library, the Department is open to scholars and researchers regardless of institutional affiliation. Each year we see thousands of researchers who come to consult our resources. 

The archivists and librarians welcome the opportunity to help you with your research.

How to Find Collections - SCUA

How to find collections in SCUA

All available SCUA materials in the UO Libraries catalog. The UO “LibrarySearch” will bring up collections in SCUA that have been cataloged and are available for research. Always log in to bring up a catalog record that includes a link “Request UO Item.” We have also created specific subject guides to help researchers look at a variety of primary source collections clustered by topic:

Finding aids and other guides to collections

A finding aid is a guide to a particular collection, like a table of contents for a book. Although the contents of finding aids often vary from one collection to another, most are quite detailed and provide more information than the collection-level record given in the UO Libraries’ online catalog.  Most finding aids include a title page, biographical sketch or brief history of the organization, a scope and content note, an outline of the arrangement of the collection (this is very helpful for large collections whose arrangement may appear complex) and a box and folder listing.  The box and folder listing is the most important element of the inventory. It tells you the file name of each folder.

Arrangement of the collections varies.  Sometimes an arrangement is determined by the original order of the personal papers or records (especially records of an organization).  Sometimes collections are completely re-organized by archivists if no logical order is apparent when the collection arrives in the archives.

How to Find Collections in Other Repositories

There is no single, central guide to materials in repositories in Oregon or nationally. Instead, there are a number of printed guides and online resources that you can consult to locate collections.

There are many different types of guides to manuscript collections.  Some are based on geographic areas (i.e., Oregon, Pacific Northwest, the West, nationally, etc.); some are focused on topics (women’s history, music, science and technology, etc.); and others are guides to specific repositories (such as the Catalogue of Manuscripts in the University of Oregon Library, the Women’s Studies Manuscript Collections from the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College).

How to Request SCUA Materials with a Duck ID