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Finding ASU History

Basic tools for finding ASU history materials

Online Research Tools

ASU Library Catalog 

Search descriptions of approximately 20% of the Archives books and periodicals.

Arizona Archives Online 

Search guides to archival collections located all over Arizona, limit to University Archives using the Advanced Search feature if you want! Archives are adding more guides all the time!

Note: Almost all archival collections require an appointment 5 days in advance because they are stored off-campus!

University Archives Index

Electronic index to Archives photographs “Info” files, “Bio” files, and "Small Manuscripts". For photo descriptions with thumbnails attached, add "digital photographs" to your search terms!

ASU Newspaper Index   

Electronic Index to articles in the State Press, ASU Insight, and ASU Insight West, 1987-2014. All editions are available by appointment in the Wurzburger Reading Room at Hayden Library, Tempe campus. 

ASU News Archive

Full text searching for online news articles and press releases distributed by ASU Media Relations ca. 2011-present. 

Digital Material Highlights

We encourage you to browse all of our digital materials through our online repository PRISM. PRISM brings together ASU Library’s many unique library and archival collections, including digitized historic photographs, maps, oral history recordings, rare texts and publications, and a wide variety of reformatted videos and films.

Some highlights of the University Archives are outlined below:

ASU Generations

A general history of ASU delivered in streaming video using vintage motion picture film, video, photographs, and music primarily from the University Archives collections. 16 minutes.

ASU Generations: Homecoming

A history of Homecoming at ASU delivered in streaming video using vintage motion picture film, video, photographs, and music primarily from the University Archives collections.

Bill Bailey Motion Pictures

Amateur silent motion pictures made by "Varsity" Bill Bailey of the Arizona State University campus (then Arizona State Teacher's College) and the Varsity Inn in 1937 and 1938. The films depict student recreation, campus scenes especially on University Drive and College Avenue, Homecoming parades, and football games at Goodwin Stadium. Boxing and track are also depicted.

Daughter of Earth: Agnes Smedley Online Exhibit

Photos, manuscripts, and other materials from the collections of Agnes Smedley and the famous radical's biographers, Stephen and Janice MacKinnon.

Joyce Finch Oral History Project

Twenty-five interview transcripts regarding members of the United States Cadet Nurse Corps and abstracts of the interviews produced by Elsie Szecsy.

Martin Luther King at Arizona State University 

Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech entitled "Religious Witness for Human Dignity" was presented at Goodwin Stadium, Arizona State University on June 3, 1964. Introduction by ASU President G. Homer Durham. This recording is followed by a brief recording of King's remarks to NAACP supporters at the Tanner AME Church in Phoenix earlier in the same day. Related photographs and correspondence from President Durham are included. 

Tom Wright Audio Recordings 

A KCAC radio interview with ASU Philosophy professor Morris Starsky shortly after his termination by the Arizona Board of Regents in June 1970. Starsky is interviewed by host Bill Compton.

The New ASU Story

A comprehensive history of ASU with over 300 downloadable publication-quality photographs.

University Archives Audio and Visual Materials

Audio recordings, motion pictures, and video productions were selected from the University Archives collections. Media is added as permissions are secured, and resources for digitization become available.

University Archives Specialized Guides and Data Compilations

A collection of detailed guides to archival collections and compilations of university data regarding students, buildings, land, etc.

Hardcopy Tools

Arizona Board of Regents Card Files

Two card files produced by the Office of the President to index ABOR minutes, 1945-1970; 1970-1984. Must be retrieved from storage, Ask an Archivist for call number 2.2 M669!

The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-three Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries. Arizona State University's four campuses are located in the Salt River Valley on ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of these lands allows us to be here today. ASU Library acknowledges the sovereignty of these nations and seeks to foster an environment of success and possibility for Native American students and patrons. We are advocates for the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies within contemporary library practice. ASU Library welcomes members of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh, and all Native nations to the Library.