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Know-It-All in 20 minutes: How to use a Finding Aid, your research tool.

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Presentation on theme: "Know-It-All in 20 minutes: How to use a Finding Aid, your research tool."— Presentation transcript:

1 Know-It-All in 20 minutes: How to use a Finding Aid, your research tool

2 What is a Finding Aid? A Finding Aid is a tool created to help you decide if holdings in the Archives will assist your research. Not all of the holdings have a Finding Aid. Check with us to see if we have created one for you.

3 Putting records into context A Finding Aid groups archival records together, while summarizing their context and purpose. Individual items (i.e., photograph, diary, map, etc.) are also described.

4 Where to start Start by reading the first section, or general description, of the records and the list of subjects included to determine if the records will assist your research. This will save you time by allowing you to determine if the records will be of any assistance to you.

5 Things to look for in that first section Pay particular attention to the following: Title, Date, and Physical Description. Here you will find information concerning the title of the group of records (fonds or collection), dates for records, and their format.

6 More things to look for in that first section Pay particular attention to the following: a history of the individual(s) or organization(s) that created the records information about each of the specific record groups

7 The last thing to look for in that first section Pay particular attention to the following: Subjects and Access points. The list of subjects, people, places, organizations, etc. that are included or related to the records.

8 Is this helpful? Do these records seem like they will add value to your research? If so, then read on in the Finding Aid for even more context.

9 The second section - getting more context The descriptions for specific groupings assist Researchers to understand functions within the entire group of records. These descriptions include information that is applicable only to the specific group of records.

10 Finally, the files you need The file listing provides the number, the title and dates and, a brief description of the file's contents. In most cases, the individual files and items are listed immediately after the description of specific groupings.

11 Why use a Finding Aid? It is useful to read through a Finding Aid so that you do not spend time looking at irrelevant materials.

12 Where are these Finding Aids? You can find them online through the Archives’ web site, or on paper in the Kirkconnell Room.

13 Don’t struggle with the Finding Aid alone Call us After all, we created these Finding Aids! Link to Finding Aids Link to Finding Aids


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