American Library Association Archives

NOTICE: The American Library Association Archives remains closed for walk-in use. Only approved scheduled appointments will be honored for onsite visits. If you have a reference request or general archives question, email is the best way to reach us: ala-archives[at]

Onsite visits to the ALA Archives is by appointment only. To maintain safety during the ongoing pandemic, we are liming the number of scheduled visits each week. Please contact us to schedule an onsite visit.

Patience is appreciated. The Archives has developed a backlog of requests. We will continue to answer requests in the order received. Rush orders are not being accepted at this time.


The American Library Association Archives is the repository for the American Library Association, the world’s oldest and largest national library association.

ALA records, dating primarily from the 1920s to the present, are heavily used by historians, library school faculty, students, and ALA staff and members to study such topics as the history of librarians, library schools, and ALA’s role in national and international events.

The ALA Archives was established in the summer of 1973, when ALA entered into an agreement with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to have its non-current records of value housed at the University Archives.

The ALA Archives consists of official records, correspondence, publications, photographs, sound recordings, films, and videotapes. Research material is arranged in five general areas: administrative and staff offices, associations and divisions, round tables, committees and members’ papers, and affiliated and associated organizations.

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