Northwestern


Archival and Manuscript Collections

Find what you're looking for:

Using this Site

The key to locating items in these collections is through a “finding aid.” Like the index or table of contents to a book, the finding aid is a guide to the collection. As the name implies, the finding aid helps researchers find the resources they need. Each finding aid provides information about the creation and historical context of a collection, explains how it is organized, and outlines its contents, so that you can identify and request the materials relevant to your research. Finding aids may vary in style and amount of detail, but they are all meant to help you locate the archival and manuscript collections you need. Some finding aids contain links to digitized versions of documents or images, but in most instances you must come to the library to view these non-circulating collections.

Access to Collections

The finding aids in this database describe archival and manuscript materials held by various Northwestern University libraries. Information regarding content, historical context, creation and arrangement of a collection can be found in these finding aids, though the depth of detail varies by individual collection. Some collections may have restrictions on access; these are noted in the finding aid.

Collections represented by finding aids in this portal are housed in the following libraries:

Each of these libraries has its own location, hours, and policies for providing access to its collections. Please consult the individual library (as indicated in each finding aid) with questions about its collections and about using the materials. Collections are non-circulating and must be used in the individual Library's Reading Room. In many cases the collections are stored off-site and require advance notice of up to one day for retrieval. It is highly advisable to contact the staff of the individual Library and make an appointment to view collections, to be sure that the material and staff will be available during a research visit.

NOTE: If you do not see a finding aid, but have reason to think that the Library may hold a collection you are looking for, never hesitate to ask!