The following are some suggestions for countries not, or incompletely, covered in this guide. The archival practices that have evolved in different countries differ greatly. Getting the Lay of the Land
- Is there a national level (or several regional) collective archival catalog?
- Are there printed guides describing the country’s archival resources?
- Does the national archives and its branches hold private as well as government collections?
- Does the national library hold archival collections?
- What are the major archival repositories, and do the have printed and/or online guides?
- Do other countries, perhaps colonial or other European or North American countries, have archival collections derived from colonial government, scholarly collecting, government foreign relations, missionary work, or other activities?
1. Go to your country’s national archives and national library web sites. Look for national research guides or archival databases.
- List of National Archives
- Les Bibliothèques nationales de la francophonie, ed. by Marcel Lajeunesse. (PDF) 3rd ed. 2008.
- The International Directory of National Archives, ed. by Patricia C. Franks and Anthony Bernier. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2018, 448 p.
- List of national and state libraries
- lib-web-cats (library web sites and catalogs)
- List of Archives (Wikipedia)
- Find an archive in the UK and beyond
- World Wide Diplomatic Archives Index (U.S. Dept. of State) is a guide to the accessibility of diplomatic archives around the world
2. Look for research guides.
Do a Google Advanced Search. Search
All these words: country name, archives (do separate searches for archival, manuscripts).
Any of these words: guide research resources
For local guides limit to site domain: e.g., South Africa – .za
Example: African manuscripts and archives (British Library)
Search for printed guides in HOLLIS and WorldCat:
- Subject: Country name AND (Archives OR Archival OR manuscripts)
- Subject: Country name AND ("sources catalogs" OR "sources bibliography")
We have listed a selection of guides for Africa, Asia, and Latin America on an another page of this guide
- Look at repository web site
- Printed guides, search name of repository. If too many results add: Catalogs OR Bibliography
Example (note different names in title and Subjects):
Guide to the historical manuscripts in the National Archives of Rhodesia, by T. W. Baxter and E. E. Burke. Salisbury, 1970, 527 p.
Zimbabwe -- History -- Sources -- Bibliography.
Zambia -- History -- Sources -- Bibliography.
Major multi-country research guides
Library Resources outside the U.S. (Brown University) includes information on archives and manuscript collections.
Fresh from the Archives offers graduate students' reports on using archives worldwide.
Languages: A selection of resources covering Czech, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Russian and Spanish studies, and to some degree to Francophone, Hispanic, Latin-American and Lusophone culture (University of London, School of Advanced Study)
History in Africa, 1974- . This journal publishes many guides to archival resources
3. Look for digital libraries or collections from that geographic region.
See the Digital Libraries/Collections by Region or Language section on the Library Research Guide for History
4. Genealogical resources often give useful information on archives.
FamilySearch Research Wiki Look for Research Tools, also Local Research Resources (lower right).
Search for printed guides in HOLLIS and WorldCat: Subject: India Genealogy yields:
Journeys of discovery: ancestral searches in India, by Shubha Singh. New Delhi: Shipra Publications, 2012, 149 pages. HOLLIS Record