How to Use Our Finding Aids

A finding aid describes the holdings and context of a collection of archival records. In our finding aids you will typically find contextual information about the person who created the records in the collection, what events, places, and organizations the collection documents, as well as a folder-level inventory.

By visiting our finding aid catalog in ArchivesSpace you can search all of our collection descriptions using your own key terms. Filter by “collection” to see what collections hold records related to your search. Filter by “archival record” to see every collection folder that contains your search terms. You can also filter your search by subject and year.

In our finding aid catalog available on ArchivesSpace you are able to browse all finding aids for fully processed collections available for research. Partially processed or unprocessed collections contain brief descriptions of collection contents, but are not organized or described to the level of a processed collection.

If you are unsure of exactly what material you are searching for, we recommend selecting the “Browse by Subject Guide” link under “Browse” to explore collections related to a broader topic. You will find curated lists of collections associated with a variety of topics.

No matter your level of experience, navigating a new institution’s finding aid catalog can be intimidating. We encourage you to contact us using our Contact Archives & Special Collections form if you would like guidance for how to best search our finding aids.