Special Collections Research Center Finding Aids

The Special Collections Research Center's Finding Aids site provides World Wide Web access to finding aids or descriptive inventories for archival records and manuscript collections. As collections are processed new finding aids will be added periodically.

Search the Finding Aids Help with the Finding Aids


The Special Collection Research Center's Finding Aid website is a collaboration between Special Collections Research Center archivists, the Bentley Historical Library and the Digital Library Platforms and Services (DLPS) of the University Library, University of Michigan.

The finding aids are encoded using the EAD (Encoded Archival Description) document type definition and stored as XML (Extensible Markup Language) documents, but are delivered to the user as HTML documents, converted on-the-fly from the XML, and thus can be read by standard web browsers such as Netscape or Internet Explorer. The underlying encoding and the HTML display allow the finding aids to be searched and delivered in structured parts, permitting the user to "unfold" and view as much of the finding aid as needed. It also permits several views of the finding aid; a "keyword in context" view, an outline view and a full text view, designed to give the user options in viewing and navigating the finding aids.

Library Catalog and the EAD Finding Aids Database

Many of the Special Collection Research Center's archives and manuscript collections are listed in the University of Michigan on-line catalog. Catalog records provides a short description of the collection with a limited number of subject headings. The finding aid for a collection generally provides a more detailed narrative description and a full listing of series and folder headings. The catalog record includes a link to the on-line finding aid for the collection if one exists. Clicking on a link to a finding aid from within Catalog Search will open a new browser window to display the finding aid. To return to the catalog search results close the browser window displaying the finding aid.
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