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Explore Our Collections Online

The Drexel University Archives is committed to increasing the number of historical materials available online. Currently, most of our materials are not accessible online, and we encourage you to contact us directly if you do not find what you are looking for. We might have something that is already digitized but not online, or something that is not yet digitized but which we can digitize for you. 

We have several different kinds of digital, online materials available:

  • Finding Aids: Finding aids are guides to help researchers understand the contents and organization of a collection. See below for more information about how to use our finding aids.
  • Digitized Archival Material: Paper documents and photographic prints from the University Archives have been scanned and uploaded to our digital repository, iDEA, along with information about them and the collection they are from. For tips on searching in iDEA, see below.
  • Theses and Dissertations: The University Archives provides online access to graduate theses and dissertations submitted as part of Drexel’s graduation requirements.
  • Drexel Websites: View previous versions of department pages, student group websites, The Triangle, Drexel’s student newspaper, and other sites that represent the University’s online activities going back to 2009. You can find the Drexel websites we save through our own Archive-It collection, or through the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.
  • An (incomplete) Collection of The Triangle’s Print Editions: Scanned copies of The Triangle are available online as PDF files. This is an older project that is slated to be replaced but will remain available until that is completed. Note that some issues are missing from this website. Articles may appear in the search results even though the PDF is not available. Please contact us if the issue you want to view is missing.

Searching in iDEA 

iDEA—Drexel University’s digital repository—provides management and access to digital resources produced and collected by the Drexel community, including Drexel theses, dissertations, and other digital collections.

To find digitized historical materials in iDEA, search in DragonSearch, the Drexel Libraries' online discovery search tool. DragonSearch will return search results for books, journals, articles, and other library resources, as well as with digitized materials from the Archives.

You can also browse our digitized collections by clicking on the collections on the main page of iDEA. Each collection page will contain information about that collection. Each item in that collection will contain the digitized item itself (an image, usually), and information about that item, like its date, who created it, and any keywords or subjects relevant to the item. Clicking on any links on the item’s page (like keywords) will take you to a list of all digitized items that contain that keyword.

Download most materials in iDEA by right-clicking on the image and selecting “save image as” or by clicking on the download icon (a rectangle with a downward arrow) in the menu bar above the object image.

Using Finding Aids

Searching our finding aids database is a great place to start your research at the University Archives. Please note that this database contains finding aids for three different archives that are part of Drexel University: The Academy of Natural Sciences Archives, The Legacy Center at the College of Medicine, and the Drexel University Archives. Searching our findings aids for the name of a person or group, a department or academic program, or using a subject or keyword will show you every time that keyword appears in our collection guides.

We only have publicly viewable finding aids for about a third of our collections. Finding aids may not list the person or the topic you are interested in by name, but they may include information relevant to your research. We may also be able to give you access to relevant materials in collections that do not yet have completed finding aids.

If you didn’t find anything through searching our finding aid database, we encourage you to contact us with research questions since we are familiar with the collections and with Drexel’s history and may have ideas about what collection might have something useful to you.