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Special Collections: Researching Local History

This guide is for anyone interested in researching local history topics using Augustana College Special Collections resources.


Photographs of local people, places, and events can be found throughout our book and manuscript collections, but we also maintain a separate photograph collection that has been cataloged at the item level.  While the photo collection is not publicly searchable, we are happy to assist you if you have a specific research need. 

Many of our photographs have been digitized and are freely available online through the following platforms:


In addition to the electronic resources listed above, don't forget that there are many non-digitized 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, a substantial number of photographs live in 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.