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Washington and Lee University Finding Aids

The Washington and Lee University (W&L) ArchivesSpace contains the finding aids or collection descriptions of both the University Library Special Collections and Archives as well as the Law Library’s Lewis F. Powell Jr. Archives.

Here you will find descriptions of our primary sources at W&L including papers, correspondence, photographs, maps, film and video, print items, digital materials, objects, and more. Links to online access are included when available, but to search only materials available digitally, please visit the Digital Archive. If you are interested in published materials from our collection, please utilize the advance search of our library catalog and limit to Special Collections and Archives. More information about using materials in person or requesting digital copies is available on the Special Collections and Archives website.

The materials described here are made available for use in research, teaching, and personal study. There may be specific use or access restrictions on some materials. If you find something you are interested in requesting or learning more about, please include as much information as possible, including the collection guide link, collection title and identifier, series title (if applicable), box number, and folder or item information.

For materials housed within Special Collections and Archives, the department is located within Leyburn Library and is open Monday-Friday 10-4. While no appointment is necessary to visit, we strongly recommend contacting us at when planning a visit or with questions about our collections. For more information about policies and procedures please visit the Special Collections and Archives Website.

For materials housed within the Lewis F. Powell Jr. Archives, the department is located within Sydney Lewis Hall and is open to researchers by appointment only. To schedule a visit or research consultation, contact the archivist at

Search Tips:

  • To search an exact phrase, use double quotes. (e.g. "Washington College" or “Liberty Hall”)
  • Searches are not case sensitive.
  • To exclude a term from your search, put a minus sign in front of it. (For example, the search “business” -school will find materials with the phrase “business” but without the word school.)
  • Create advanced searches by clicking the + button to add a new line to your search.
  • Use the sections in the top bar to browse repositories, collections, digital objects, etc.