What is a finding aid?
A finding aid is a written description of what is included in a particular manuscript collection. It may include a brief biography of the primary author, a paragraph outlining the scope of the collection, and a box-by-box summary of the papers or documents in the collection.
Finding Manuscripts in Special Collections
Special Collections is working on converting its text-based manuscript finding aids to html format for display on the web. Finding aids added after summer 2003 will also be available in pdf format. (Visit the Adobe Acrobat web site to download a copy of the free reader.) As these finding aids become available online, they will be added to this section of the web site. They will be searchable by author, subject, or by keyword by using the search engine available on this site. In the meantime, printed versions of the finding aids are located in Special Collections. Please select one of the following options to locate a particular manuscript collection finding aid:
Browse Alphabetical Listing | Browse Subject Listing | Search by Keyword (search engine)
Please note: Due to space limitations, some manuscripts are stored off-site at the Annex building. To ensure access to the collection you're interested in, please contact the Archives 24 hours in advance of your visit so we have time to retrieve these off-site materials.
Finding Books in Special Collections
Books and dissertations in Special Collections may be found by using ACORN to locate an item's location. Do a search in ACORN for the title or subject matter which interests you. If you know the item is in Special Collections, be sure to select "SPEC-COLL" as the library location.
Once a search has been completed, you will see a list of titles retrieved by the search. The far right column will list the item's location in Special Collections.
Any items listed in the "ANNEX" are located at a storage facility on the edge of campus. All other materials should be available in Special Collections. Requests for Annex materials must be submitted 24 hours in advance so that the item can be sent from the Annex to Special Collections. To request an item from the Annex, first click on "View" on the Search Results Screen to view the record for the item. At the bottom of the screen will be a section called "Material Location."
Click on the "Annex Request" button to request that the item be sent from the Annex to Special Collections. Fill out the Annex Request form, being careful to fill in all fields in bold since the form cannot be submitted unless these minimal fields are filled in. Once you have completed the form, click the "Submit" button. The requested item should arrive in Special Collections within 24 hours. If you wish, you may call Special Collections at (615)322-2807 or e-mail at email@example.com before visiting to make sure the item has been received. All Annex and Special Collections materials must be viewed in the Reading Room. For information on Reading Room policies and procedures, please visit our Policies page.
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Last modified: April 10, 2008
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