Finding Materials FAQ

Need help finding a particular type of material? Want to know more about the resources SC&A has? These frequently asked questions can help get you started.

For additional help, please contact

SC&A in OneSearch

A majority of the rare books and archival collections can be found when searching the Library's OneSearch. If you don't find what you're looking for, please contact SC&A staff for help finding materials not currently described in OneSearch.
  • How do I search for resources from a particular book collection?
    Materials that are part of a specific collection can often be searched by the collection name, for example, the "Kallir Family Collection" or the "Nathan Comfort Starr Collection of Arthuriana." Simply type the phrase, including the quotation marks, as a keyword search.
  • How do I find an artists' book in SC&A?

    Option 1

    • Do a general search for "artists' books" in OneSearch
    • Narrow your search to Special Collections & Archives from the question above

    Option 2

    • Go to the Advanced Search option of OneSearch
    • Type in "artists' books" and "special collections" in the two search fields (see image below)
      • If you want to only search the artists' book collection at Wesleyan, click the "Wesleyan Books & Media" button at the top of the screen


  • How do I do additional searches only searching SC&A material?
    • From the search results page use the left hand facets to select "WU - Special Collections & Archives"
    • Once selected, hover your mouse over the left hand of the selected facet until a lock appears
    • Select the lock to lock your facet for future searches

Types of Resources in SC&A

  • Does SC&A have Olla Podridas (yearbooks) and the Argus?

    We have full runs of the Olla Podridas (yearbooks) and the Argus available to view in SC&A during our open hours.

    If you'd like to look at them at other times or check them out, the majority are available in Olin Library on floor 3A. Along with the Olla Pods and Argus, you can also find Wesleyan University course catalogs and university bulletins there.

General Questions

  • How do I request material to view in SC&A?

    Visit our Using the Collections page for more information on what to do before and during your visit to SC&A.

    Some of our collection is stored off-site, and while we try to retrieve items the same day you want to visit, sometimes that isn't possible. For best results, please give us as much advance notice as you can.

  • I'm looking for film related material.
    There is the Ogden and Mary Louise Reid Cinema Archives at Wesleyan, which is separate from Special Collections & Archives. For questions and requests related to film and television history please contact Joan Miller for more information.

Theses & Dissertations

Wesleyan University theses and dissertations in the library collection fall into three main groups:

  • Undergraduate honors theses
  • M.A. theses
  • Ph.D. dissertations

Wesleyan University has awarded masters' degrees since 1892 and Ph.D.'s since 1965. Honors theses represent research prepared by seniors in Wesleyan's Honors program. The earliest Honors theses, formerly called "distinction," date from the mid-1930's.

One archival copy of each honors thesis and dissertation is received by Special Collections & Archives, where it is treated as a manuscript. It does not circulate and must be read in the Special Collections & Archives reading room.

  • How do I search for a thesis/dissertation?

    Most theses and dissertations that SC&A holds can be found in OneSearch by searching the author or title.

    Many honors theses from 2007 onward, and graduate theses and dissertations from 2013 to the present, are available as full text in WesScholar, Wesleyan's institutional repository. Additional queries about theses and dissertations should be directed to Special Collections & Archives staff. 

  • How do I request a copy of a thesis/dissertation not available online in WesScholar?

    You first need to fill out and submit a Request for Reproduction form.

    In order to make a copy of an undergraduate of M.A.L.S. thesis, the author's permission needs to be on file before we are permitted to copy/digitize any or all of the thesis. If it is not already on file, we will contact the author and request permission. Please allow time for this process when requesting physical or digital copies.

    Some graduate theses and dissertations, depending on their subject area, also have circulating copies in the main library and can be requested through Interlibrary Loan. The OneSearch record will indicate if multiple copies are available.

Please contact Special Collections & Archives (SC&A) with specific research inquiries if you are having trouble finding what you are looking for, or you have any other questions. Some materials in SC&A are not yet fully cataloged or described, and the staff can help provide access to them.