Explore Archival Collections

Access 26608 descriptions of personal papers, manuscripts, photographs, oral histories, films, works of art and organizational records.

Photograph of Lawrence Edward "Larry" Campbell, Jr. next to an observatory telescope.

Explore Digital Collections

Dive into digital content, including images, audio files, video files, and many others.

Accessing and Using SOVA Collections

Using SOVA metadata and materials

Usage conditions may apply for digital images, video, and sound recordings linked within SOVA collections. While digital content may be restricted, SOVA collection descriptions and catalog records are available CC0 for re-use. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

Accessing and Requesting Materials

Some finding aids contain digitized versions of all or part of a collection. In some cases, viewing a collection in its entirety requires visiting the repository. Please contact the repository listed in the collection description. Each repository has its own location, hours, and policies for providing access to its collections. Please consult the repository with questions about accessing and using collection materials.

About SOVA records

The resources in the Smithsonian Online Virtual Archives are contributed by museums, libraries, and archives from across the Smithsonian. We are constantly working to facilitate access and to provide improved resource descriptions. It is a work in progress, and we welcome feedback. If you would like to request a correction or have comments, please contact us.

Please note that SOVA collections reflect the context and culture in which they were created, collected, and described. These archival collections may include historical content and descriptions that do not align with contemporary standards and terminology. Some records may include offensive language. In some cases, these records make evident injustice or prejudices, and these records may appear in their original form to facilitate research. The information within these collections does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but rather the social attitudes and circumstances of the time when materials were collected or cataloged.