How to Search

Library Materials

Most Library materials are listed in Stanford University Libraries' online catalog. You can limit your search to "Hoover Library" in the left sidebar under "Library." Some materials acquired by the Library before 1977 may be listed only in the card catalogs located in the Library.

Archival Collections

The Online Archive of California (OAC) contains the most complete descriptions of all of the Archives' collections, including detailed collection guides (finding aids) when they exist. This is the richest information for searching. By entering keywords in the search box on this page and choosing "Archival Collections" you are searching all of the Archives' finding aids.

You can also go directly to the OAC and browse to a particular finding aid by clicking on the collection title in the alphabetical list, then clicking on either "PDF" or "HTML" under "View entire collection guide" in the shaded box to the right of the collection title.

All Archives collections also have a short description in Stanford University Libraries' online catalog. You can limit your search to "Hoover Archives" in the left sidebar under "Library." If an archival collection's catalog description includes the words "preliminary inventory," "inventory," or "register," there is a more detailed finding aid available at the Online Archive of California.

Digital Collections

The Library & Archives’ digital collections portal contains digitized posters, photographs, texts, sound recordings, and moving images from Hoover collections. Searches should be in English, with a few exceptions:

  • many non-English proper names have not been translated into English;
  • the records of the Zhongguo guo min dang [Kuomintang] are described in traditional Chinese; and
  • the Ėduard Amvrosievich Shevardnadze radio interview transcripts are described in Cyrillic.

The keyword search covers title, creator/contributor, description, subject, country of origin, object number, and object name. It also searches the full text of most PDF files ("document full-text").

Use quotation marks (" ") to search for an exact phrase and an asterisk (*) to search for a truncated term.

In the search results, the search term is usually highlighted in context, with one exception: search terms found in the document’s full text do not display the search term in the context of the document’s full text. When a PDF file is retrieved in a search result and no search term is highlighted, the term is somewhere within the PDF file. After opening the PDF file, you can search within it for the term.

Additional search help is available at the bottom of Advanced Search.