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Online Research in Special Collections

Resources for virtual Special Collections research at Pepperdine.

Archival Finding Aids

Overview of Archival Finding Aids

Finding aids are descriptive guides for archival collections that provide collection overviews and inventories. They are useful for identifying the information needed to request materials. Pepperdine's archival finding aids are maintained in the Online Archive of California. 

How to Use Them (Watch our video, Searching for Archival Collections)

Users can search for their topic of interest across all collections by using the search box on the main search page. This searches all text in all of Pepperdine's finding aids. Please make sure to try multiple synonyms and spellings to get the most complete results.

Users can also browse the list of collections at Pepperdine and select one finding aid to read.

Each finding aid includes a Scope and Contents note, which provides an overview of the contents of the collection. The Biographical or Historical note contains rich factual contextual information, and the Collection Contents lists the contents of the collection by box or folder. Please note that not every item is described, and users may sometimes need to look for broader topics to identify the box or folder that is needed.

Always feel free to contact us for help searching our archival collections!

Finding Materials in Special Collections

We invest a lot in creating collection and object descriptions that are accurate and useful for research. Use any of these tools to find collections that may be relevant to your research. Our finding aids and catalog records are packed with information about our collections. If you can’t find the information you need virtually, use these descriptions to plan your research visit. (But also, remember to contact us! We need advanced notice to provide materials!)

Collection Browse Tool

Special Collections stacks in Payson Library

Overview of Collection Browse Tool

The collection browse tool allows users to view lists of collections with brief descriptions by collection type (book, archival, or digital) and by major collecting area. Once you have found a collection of interest, click "more" to be linked to a finding aid, digital collection, list of books, or other tool that will allow you to search the collection.

How to Use It

According to professional standards, the primary description of published materials (books, periodicals) are catalog records whereas the primary description of unpublished (archival) materials are finding aids.

Since these two types of descriptions are maintained in separate databases, we developed the browse tool to enable user discovery of ALL special collections materials at Pepperdine. In addition to unpublished and published original materials, the browse tool also lists collections of digitized materials.

Please note that this tool is best used for browsing and discovery. To search the contents of these collections, please follow the "more" link at the end of each collection description.

Library Catalog

Overview of Library Catalog

Most published material in the Boone Special Collections and Archives, such as books and periodicals, are cataloged in WorldCat Local, Pepperdine’s library catalog.

How to Use It (Watch our video, Searching for Books and Manuscripts)

For best results finding Special Collections materials in the library catalog, use the advanced search. In addition to searching by standard fields such as keyword, author, and title, you can also search by date and language. You can use facets to filter results to print books or other formats. 

Please contact us for specific questions about searching the library catalog!