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Student Researcher Resources

Contact Us / Visit Us

Kentucky Building - Hours: Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Harrison Baird Reading Room Policies

Closings: May 28, July 4

Phone: 270-745-5083 


KenCatan abbreviation for Kentucky Catalog of Online Collections. A searchable database that includes a wide variety of descriptions of books, manuscripts, photographs and objects housed in Library Special Collections and the Kentucky Museum. These materials do not circulate. 

TopScholarname for the WKU Institutional Repository.  TopSCHOLAR is a University-wide, centralized digital storehouse dedicated to scholarly research, creative activity and other full-text learning resources that merit enduring and archival value and permanent access. There you will find full-text documents such as theses, dissertations and articles, class lectures, audio and video files. 

Library Special Collections section contains full-text historical documents, oversized photographs, maps, audio and video files as well as collection inventories.

One Searchname for the WKU Libraries consolidated search engine which gives users results across nearly all library collections with a relevant-ranked list similar to a Google search. 

Kentucky Library Research Collectionsa unique research center of primary sources for both the university community and general public users. Originally called the "Kentucky Library" with a mission to collect "all things Kentucky."  We house rare books, photographs, sheet music, rare periodicals, and specialized research collections in diverse languages or formats dating from the 15th century to today.

Manuscript CollectionsManuscript material consists chiefly of letters; diaries; account books and business papers; literary papers; political papers; church and institutional minutes; theses; land grants; court records and a variety of other documents.  Our materials concern mainly Kentucky and Kentuckians, providing details about daily life in many settings and on varied levels, but also relate to local, national and international events.

Folklife Archivesconsist of papers and projects created by WKU folk studies faculty, undergraduate and graduate students about traditional and modern folk ways including folk songs, folk beliefs, regional speech patterns, ethnographic studies, occupational folklore, community surveys and vernacular architecture.  Included is a vast archive of sound recordings in various formats of interviews, oral histories, and musical performances.

WKU Archives - holdings include but are not limited to administrative records, newspapers, minutes, departmental files, university publications, photographs, memorabilia and audiovisual materials

Research Strategies - research hints and tips for using KenCat and TopScholar. 

Genealogy ResourcesResearch guide to genealogical materials in the WKU Library Special Collections and WKU Archives

Collection Highlights:

Services & Fees

Internship & Volunteer Opportunities

Student Jobs - Library Special Collections typically employs 4 to 5 student workers per school year.  Contact us at to inquire.

Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,
download quicktime.

 Last Modified 1/18/18