Physical Collections and Finding Aids

What are finding aids?

Finding aids are used by researchers to determine whether materials within a collection may be relevant to their research. While not exhaustive, finding aids help researchers identify the particular boxes or folders that may hold items of interest.

In the course of daily life, individuals, families, organizations, and businesses create and keep information about their activities. When such records are no longer needed on a day-to-day basis, a portion judged to possess enduring historical value may be preserved and maintained as archival collections. Archival records take many forms, including correspondence, diaries, financial and legal documents, photographs, and sound recordings. Archival materials may also include maps, scientific data, artifacts, and electronic records such as emails or databases.

Prepared by archival staff, finding aids provide a history of the person or organization that produced the collection, an overview of the collection, and a detailed list of the collection's contents.

View the finding aids for the physical collections listed below.


Radford University Archives

Contains official records, documents, publications, photographs and other materials related to the history of Radford University.


Appalachian Collection

Includes manuscripts and other primary materials that document the history and culture of Southwest Virginia and Appalachia.


Special Collections

Includes manuscripts and collections that are not part of the Radford University Archives or Appalachian Collection, including items from Radford alumni.


Rare Book Collection

Contains more than 6,000 books, including the core collection originally housed in the library when Radford University first opened as the State Normal and Industrial School at East Radford, Virginia, in 1913.