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Special Collections: Researching Augustana College History

This guide will help you embark on research into the history of Augustana College (previously Augustana College and Theological Seminary) in Rock Island, Illinois.


There are thousands of photographs in Special Collections, and they may be found in many different places.  While we do have a photograph collection, there are also photos that are part of individual manuscript collections, photos in vertical files, and photos that have been printed in books and other publications.  Photographs can be difficult to organize and describe, and they may not always be described in a way that enables the type of search and retrieval you need for a particular project.  Nevertheless, we have many ways to help you locate relevant photographs, and we are happy to help you with the search process.


In addition to the electronic resources listed above, don't forget that there are many photographs in our manuscript collections, and you can search the finding aids for those collections online (see the Manuscript Collections section of this LibGuide for information on how to do this).  You may find specific descriptions of individual photos or less specific descriptions of groups of photos; it all depends on the nature of the collection you are looking at.

Finally, the most substantial source of college photos is our photograph collection, and that collection has no database or searchable discovery tool available for public use.  However, Special Collections staff can use various methods to search for you if you have a specific topic such as a person, place, or event that you are researching.  To ask for a photo search, please visit the reading room during open hours, call, or email using the contact information at left and provide as much detail as you can about what it is that you are looking for.

Audiovisual Material

While our collections do include a substantial amount of audiovisual material, most of these items are in formats for which we do not have any available playback mechanism on site.  A small portion of audiovisual materials have been reformatted/digitized, and some of those may be accessed online via our digital collections (see links below) while others may require a visit to the reading room.  If you wish to access an audiovisual item that has not yet been reformatted, the item will first have to be sent to an audiovisual preservation digitization service provider for reformatting to the appropriate preservation standards, which can be a costly and time-consuming process.  As we do not have a dedicated budget for audiovisual reformatting, all costs for digitizing audiovisual material will be passed on to the patron requesting access.

There is audiovisual content in many different manuscript collections, but certain collections contain especially large concentrations of Augustana-related AV material.  The links below will take you directly to the finding aids for these collections.

Manuscript Collections containing Augustana-related AV material:

Digital Collections containing Augustana-related AV material: