Special Collections & Archives: Catalogs and Databases

Rare Books

Search for rare books using OneSearch

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Manuscript collections and University Archives

Search for manuscript collections and university archives in our Finding Aid database.

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Digitized Special Collections

Search for digitized Special Collections & Archives books, manuscript and university archives in DigiNole: FSU's Digital Repository.

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Overall Search Tips for Special Collections Catalogs & Databases

  • Try the same keyword searches in all three search tools, different tools may yield different information, even about the same collections
  • Avoid using very specific terms or combined keyword searches at first - start with a lot of results and narrow from there
  • Placing quotations around a specific phrase will help you narrow results in order to find information containing that exact wording (but may also lead to no results if the phrase is too specific)

FSU Libraries OneSearch for Special Collections & Archives materials

FSU Libraries recently launched a new library catalog and search interface using OneSearch. A new tutorial video will be forthcoming!

  • Best source of information on rare books collections (and lots of other resources at FSU Libraries)
  • Also includes description of some archival collections, with links out to finer description in the finding aid database (see below)
  • Advanced Search offers greater specificity in search terms
  • To limit your search results to Special Collections holdings, use the facet Library: “FSU STROZIER, Special Coll” located on the left-hand side menu of your search results
  • Limiting search by year (“Start and End Dates”) is often useful to Special Collections researchers
  • Sort or Narrow search results using terms in left-hand column
  • Click through search results to get full records for books or collections
  • Anything mentioning “Special Coll” in Location information is available through the Special Collections Research Center reading room in 110 Strozier Library
  • To request specific books in reading room, use the Title and Call Number (Location). For example, to see this book, https://fsu-flvc.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/01FALSC_FSU/pag4dr/alma990243569410306576, ask for Sketches of St. Augustine, Special Coll Florida -- F319.S2 S5 1849.

Finding Aid Database

  • Best source of information about our archives collections
  • narrow search results using terms in right-hand column
  • Click through search results to get full records for collections or archival items
  • Most collections available through the Special Collections Research Center reading room in 110 Strozier Library
  • Some collections note that “Users may access this collection at the Claude Pepper Library” - Claude Pepper Center, 636 W Call St
  • To request specific items in the reading room, use the collection title, collection Identifier, and box number (citation). For example, to see these letters of Paul Dirac, https://archives.lib.fsu.edu/repositories/10/archival_objects/175993, ask for Paul A.M. Dirac Papers, MSS 1989-009, Box 22

FSU Digital Library

  • The Florida State University Digital Library provides online access to thousands of unique manuscripts, photographs, pamphlets, rare books, historic maps and other materials from across the FSU campus libraries and beyond. Our goal is to support active learning and engagement by providing ample opportunities for discovery and scholarship. In order to achieve this goal, our digital library is constantly adding new resources. The digital library includes digital copies of Special Collections & Archives items, born-digital collections, and digital objects hosted for other organizations.
  • On the home page for the digital library, use search box at the top of the page to keyword search across description of digital objects.
  • From the home page, browse themed Digital Library collections in Grid View or List View. Click through collection thumbnails or titles to discover collections content.
  • View All Items in this Collection link on the home page will allow for browsing all objects in every collection.This is normally a more useful navigation option within the collections and sub-collections.
  • Advanced Search is also available in the navigation menu. Use both drop down menus to customize a search that best suits your needs based on your search terms and what collection you wish to search. The default search is for metadata AND full document text (where available). Full text searching is sometimes available for newspapers, printed books, and other typed and digital documents through Advanced Search.
  • Navigating search results or collections content
    • Sort or Narrow results using terms in left-hand column
    • Keyword search within a collection using the search box on the right side.
    • Click through Search Results to get full records and see digital copies.
    • The record of a Digital Object also holds useful information to further your search. Click through “Subject(s)” to find related digital items. Check the Archival Collection and Finding Aid fields to find related items in Special Collections & Archives. This context is sometimes important to understanding the document and helpful in discovering additional sources. The Permalink at the top of an object's page provides a URL for use in citations and in communicating with SCA staff.

Our research guides provide greater contextual information about some of our collections.

Other collections within Strozier for researchers:

Resources for searching materials outside of FSU:

  • ArchivesGrid: search for primary source materials from over 1,000 archival institutions
  • WorldCat: search catalog records from over 10,000 libraries worldwide
  • Sunshine State Digital Network (SSDN): a limited search to DPLA that looks only at Florida resources.
  • Digital Public Library of America (DPLA): search for online materials from US libraries, archives, and museums
  • Florida Digital Newspaper Library: search the full text of historical and current Florida newspapers
  • Europeana: search through millions of digitized objects from European libraries, archives and museums.
  • HathiTrust: HathiTrust is a partnership of academic and research institutions, offering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world.
  • English Short Title Catalogue: search and read over 480,000 works from the British Library and other repositories in the British Isles and North America
  • Universal Short Title Catalogue: search a collective database of all books published in Europe between the invention of printing and the end of the sixteenth century
  • Association of Centers for the Study of Congress: The ACSC encourages the preservation of material that documents the work of Congress, including the papers of representatives and senators, and supports programs that make those materials available for educational and research use.