Archives are a major resource for primary documents. Archives web sites can be used to identify and locate documents and many now include downloadable documents and virtual exhibits. This electronic access has made it much easier to consult archival holdings worldwide, but the unique nature of those archive materials not yet digitized makes them difficult to obtain. Most archival materials must be consulted on-site at the archives where they are held or copied/microfilmed and mailed to you by archives staff – sometimes an expensive and time-consuming request.

You can use the suggestions in this guide to aid you in locating archival materials. If you are unsure about how to physically locate an item you have found using one of the following resources, please consult with library staff. We will be happy to assist you.


Government Information

Canada - Federal: 


Canada - Provincial: 
    Ontario's Archival Information Network - a search tool for information on archives and archival records in Ontario.
  • Archives of Ontario
    Information about the archive's holdings and links to other provincial archives.
  • Our Ontario
    Search engine - can help locate collections and images.






New Zealand



South Africa

United Kingdom

  • Access to Archives (A2A)
    Contains catalogues describing archives held throughout England and dating from the 900s to the present day.
  • AIM25
    Archives in London and the M25 area Provides descriptions of the archives and manuscript collections of the principal colleges and schools of the University of  London , of other universities and colleges in London and the surrounding area bounded by the M25 London orbital motorway, and of some of the royal colleges and societies of medicine and science based in London.
  • Archives Hub
    Provides a single point of access to 19,206 descriptions of archives held in over 140 UK universities and colleges.
  • National Archives
  • Scottish Archive Network
  • UK Government Web Archive
  • UK Web Archiving Consortium

United States

  • Unesco Archives Portal
    Provides access to websites of archival institutions around the world. It is also a gateway to resources related to records and archives management and to international co-operation in this area.


Non-governmental websites that have resources relating to Archives. Click on the 'Government Information' tab for websites from official sources.