Resources: Archives

Locating Archives and Archival Materials

Best Bets to Start

Find over 3 million descriptions of archival materials and the locations of these historical documents, personal papers, family histories, and other archival materials. Most of these materials are located at archives in the United States. For materials in European archives, see Archives Portal Europe.

Archives Portal Europe
This portal represents 28 national archives in Europe and provides information about their holdings and makes some of their materials searchable online.

Contains catalog records of over 45,000 libraries worldwide. The records overlap with Archive Finder (NUCMC records) but also include independently contributed records not in MUCMC. Limit search to “Archival Materials” (this will yield mixed materials, including archival materials and manuscripts).


More Resources to Locate Repositories

American Historical Association’s Archives Wiki
This site provides listings of archives throughout the world, subdivided by country. This listing includes contact information, holdings, access policies, and other pertinent information.

Directory that describes more than 220,000 collections of primary-source materials located in repositories in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. Includes the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC) and the index to the National Inventory of Documentary Sources (NIDS).

Locate unique sources held at over 220 institutions in the United Kingdom.

Consortium of European Research Libraries Portal (CERL Portal)
The CERL Portal gives access to descriptions of manuscripts of all periods and early printed materials (up to 1830) in collections in Europe, the United States and Australia.

Find records from the National Archives and over 2,500 other archives in the United Kingdom.

Search for post-medieval manuscripts and letters held in European libraries, archives, documentation centers, and museums.

National Register of Archives
A comprehensive catalogue compiled from English and Scottish Archives that contains information about the nature and location of manuscripts relating to British History. This is the best resource to begin with for archival resources related to British History.

Repositories of Primary Sources
Listing of more than 5,000 websites that describe holdings of manuscripts, archives, rare books, historical photographs, and other primary sources in the Unites States, Canada, Europe, Asia, the Pacific, Africa, the Near East.


Archival Research Tool

Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC)
This is a prototype research tool that provides researchers with convenient, integrated access to historical collections held by multiple private and public archives and libraries around the world while also setting the stage for a cooperative program for maintaining information about the people documented in the collections.



The archives below, despite some of the local-sounding names, contain materials related to European history. Many can be searched by keyword. Some have digital collections; others have only physical collections.


Archival Resources by Area

German Archival and Manuscript Resources 


If you find a broken link, please send an email to