When you call to set up your initial visit, you will need to describe your research needs in detail so that the staff can identify relevant materials in the collection. You may wish to consider the types of materials that could be useful (for example, photos, student publications) or time periods of interest. See our Collection Descriptions page for some description of the general types of materials available. At this time, most of the materials are not cataloged in the main library catalog or indexed in any database. You will need to work closely with the Archives staff who have extensive experience with the materials in the collection.
The Webster University Archives will work with researchers who live at a distance, especially those who reside in another state or country. Please read our copying policies carefully as the same restrictions apply to remote researchers.
We recommend you first consult the select list of collection descriptions we have available, as well as information on the history of the university. These pages will give you a good idea about what materials might be available for research. Note, however, that the list of descriptions is not complete. You will want to consult with the archives staff to see if additional materials might be held by the archives.
Normally, we will inform you of materials that might be relevant to your needs and come to an agreement with you as to any fees involved or arrangements to be made. In most cases, prepayment will be required, and checks should be made payable to the "Webster University Library".
Staff resources are limited; there are no staff assigned to the Archives on a full-time basis. We will work with you to meet your research needs as much as our other responsibilities will allow.
For archival purposes, Webster University preserves historical photos, documents, yearbooks and student newspapers. Scholars can access these materials to research past events at the institution and explore the context surrounding those events. Some of these materials include content which may be highly offensive by today's standards. The photos and language in the materials published decades ago are reflective of the values and standards deemed acceptable at that time. Today, many of us will find this content offensive and unacceptable.
Some of the content in historical photos, documents, yearbooks, and student newspapers is abhorrent and appalling, and we openly reject biased and racist views. We also acknowledge that it is part of our history, which is why we are preserving these offensive photos, documents and publications and letting them remain in their original forms. As an academic institution committed to critical analysis, we must honestly recognize these troubling views. To deny this history would be dishonest. We must shed light on past injustices and errors, analyze all the evidence, acknowledge how far we have evolved, and identify how much more needs to be accomplished in order to attain true equity and inclusion for our community.