Many of our collections can be searched using the search feature to the right (or using advanced search features of the Library's EDS interface), or through searching the Library Catalog. While many of our collections can be discovered in this way, due to the nature of the records groupings in our collections your research will need to extend beyond a simple keyword search. Collections are complex groupings of records that require additional searching and browsing to effectively find the material you need. Finding aids are provided to guide a patron in that research.

Finding aids are tools that facilitate discovery of information within a collection of records. The finding aid provides a description of the records and the creator of the records to guide a patron in researching the collection.

A small number of items and collections have been digitized, with more in the process of digitization. A majority of primary resources have not been made available digitally for a variety of reasons (time, cost, feasibility, restrictions, nature of the material). Partly for this reason, finding aids are available to guide a patron in locating specific items. While consulting the finding aid will give you an idea of the materials included in specific collections, you can enhance discovery by visiting Special Collections in person or by consulting a Special Collections Librarian. Current projects are underway to make our collections more accessible and locatable. Check back often to see new developments.

To locate our online resources, search using the features described above or click below for research strategies for specific collecting areas.

For information in how to research, locate, and use primary resources, visit the Primary Research LibGuide.