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Use an archival finding aid

A “finding aid” describes the contents of an archival collection. It is the first thing to look at before accessing a collection at the Special Collections and University Archives.

Access archival finding aids

Ask a Librarian for help. Some collections have not been processed yet or there is no finding aid online. If you don’t see a collection you are interested in, we’ll be happy to assist you.

Use archival finding aids

  1. Read the abstract, the scope and contents and the biographical or administrative history to get a sense of what is in the collection.
  2. Note any restrictions on the collection.
  3. Look at the inventory list.
  4. Write down the box numbers, folder numbers and series numbers you would like to see.
  5. Note whether the collection is at the Richard J. Daley Library in Chicago or at the Library of Health Sciences-Chicago.
  6. Ask a Librarian to make an appointment or if you have any questions about the archival finding aid or the collection it refers to.

Collection-specific guides

We have a number of online guides that explain how to read specific finding aids for particularly large collections:

For other guides related to other holdings and to popular subject areas, check out our list of UIC Special Collections and University Archives research guides.

Our reading rooms have special hours

View Daley Library hours and Library of the Health Sciences-Chicago hours.

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