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Archives & Special Collections: Using the Collections

This guide details the Archives & Special Collections at the University of Puget Sound.

Archives & Special Collections Hours

Current hours:

Due to COVID-19 precautions, the Archives & Special Collections is offering virtual reference appointments. If you need assistance or would like to set up a virtual appointment, please email us at

A selection of digitized material from the Archives & Special Collections is available online 24/7.

Did you know?

A small selection of material from the Archives & Special Collections is now available online!  Visit the Digital Collections tab on this guide to find out more.

Visiting the Archives & Special Collections

In addition to open hours, the Archives & Special Collections are available by appointment.  A few things to be aware of when visiting the Archives & Special Collections:

  • Materials in the Archives & Special Collections do not circulate.  They are available for use only in the Archives & Special Collections.
  • No food or drink is allowed in the Archives & Special Collections.
  • Pencil only, no pens.  We have pencils available if you forget to bring one.
  • Laptops are permitted.
  • Phones and cameras may be used with the permission of the Archivist.

Recommended Starting Points

The majority of the material in Archives & Special Collections is only available in person.  If you know your topic, you can begin searching for material:

If you would like assistance exploring the collections, please contact us!


Possible Research Topics

These are just a small sampling of research topics that can be supported by the collections:

  • Student life at the University of Puget Sound
  • Local Tacoma businesses and advertisements
  • Northwest women artists
  • Albert Bash and his railroad scheme in the early 20th century
  • Student reactions to national events
  • University administration and governance
  • WWII
  • Washington Senator, Homer T. Bone, his policies, career, etc.
  • Northwest travel pamphlets
  • Tiananmen Square protests of 1989
  • Astronomy at the University of Puget Sound
  • Women travelers in the early 20th century
  • 19th century missionaries in Oregon
  • Early history of the University of Puget Sound 1888-1923
  • 18th century alchemy in England
  • Book arts
  • Autobiography through Artists' books

What's a tertiary source?

Tertiary sources are excellent starting points!  They consist of information synthesized from primary and secondary sources.  Examples include:

  • Almanacs
  • Chronologies
  • Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
  • Directories
  • Fact books
  • Guidebooks
  • Indexes, abstracts, bibliographies used to locate primary and secondary sources
  • Manuals
  • Textbooks

These resources give you succinct overviews of your topic, explain scholarly arguments, point out interesting questions, and refer you to especially key sources. 

Need help?

This subject guide highlights only a small portion of the many resources available to you. 

If you're not finding what you need, don't hesitate to contact us: