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Popular Culture Collection

This guide documents the Popular Culture collection housed in Special Collections and Archives.

Visits and Consultations

Graphic of a monster attacking a city with the word ka-boom over itYou’re welcome to visit our Reading Room by appointment during open hours to view the Popular Culture collections. You can use our online registration portal to make an appointment and request materials to view. An archivist or other staff member will be available during your appointment to answer questions.

If you cannot physically travel to use our collections, please email and we will be happy to set up an appointment for remote research.

Do you have more in-depth research needs? Email to schedule a consultation with the Music & Popular Culture archivist.

Finding Archival Materials in Footnotes/References

If a scholar has used archival resources as primary sources, they will be cited in the footnotes/references.

Older scholarship may only direct you to the name of the collection and its location, i.e. "Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Papers, Houghton Library, Harvard University."

More recent scholarship is more likely to include more specific information, such as series number and box and folder numbers.

Many finding aids now include detailed information about how to cite that collection.

Archives Abroad: Some Useful Sites

Remember: you can always use Google to locate the website for a country's national library or national archives.

Searching with Google

To search Google for archival collections or finding aids, try these searches:

[name or organization] “finding aid”
[name or organization] “digital collection”
[name or organization] “collection”

Adding “” to a Google search will limit your search to educational organizations, including Special Collections/Archives at colleges or universities.

ArchiveGrid and WorldCat will provide more focused searching.

See below for information on searching these two sites.


WorldCat includes information on archival holdings.

For best results, search by name or other proper noun.

Use Advanced Search and select "Archival Material" from the "Format" dropdown menu.

Though WorldCat includes information from many libraries worldwide, not all libraries worldwide are members of OCLC/WorldCat.

To find out if a country's national library or libraries is an OCLC member, select "More search options" on this page, select the country's name in the appropriate search box, and click "Search." If the country is not included in the dropdown menu, its national libraries do NOT have their catalogs included in WorldCat. You can always use Google to locate the website for a country's national library or national archives.

(Example: national library iran)

To check to see if a particular library or repository is a member of WorldCat, use this search page. You can search by library name or part of a name, zip/postal codestate or province.


ArchiveGrid is a freely available site from OCLC which includes nearly two million archival material descriptions from repositories in the US, including records from WorldCat and finding aids harvested from the web.

  • Browsable by topic, US state, country
  • Using "Result Overview," results can be sorted by a number of options, including person, group, place, archive, archive location, and topics(Library of Congress Subject Headings)
  • Each result also includes contact information for repository holding that collection.