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Researching with Archival & Special Collections Primary Source Materials

Finding Mahn Center archival and special collections materials

It can be a bit difficult to search for and find archival and special collections materials in library catalogs and databases so please don't worry if you're struggling. If you're having trouble at any point, please don't hesitate to complete our Research Request Form. Someone will respond to you as soon as possible.

Where to begin:

Many Mahn Center materials are discoverable in the ALICE library catalog. Here are a few tips for your search:

  • Use the Advanced Search
  • Under Location, select Alden Archives and Special Collections from the pull-down menu
  • Include as much information as you can in your search, especially consider year or date range

When you are looking through an ALICE catalog results list be on the lookout for Alden 5th Floor Archives & Special Collections listed as the Location of the item. The Status will also be NON-CIRC. These two details let you know that you've found something held at the Mahn Center. At that point we encourage you to send an email to Bill Kimok (University Archives) or Miriam Intrator (Rare Books) or Laura Smith (Documentary Photography Archive) letting us know what you want to see so that we can schedule a time for you to come in. Or, if you aren't sure who to email, just fill out our Research Request Form.

Manuscript and archival collections are described using Finding Aids, which you can think about as enhanced, descriptive inventories. Manuscript and archival collection finding aids are sometimes linked in ALICE and can provide you with a bit more information about a particular collection.

Screen shot from the ALICE library catalog highlighting the Online finding aid link and circling the Alden 5th Floor Archives & Special Collections location and the NON-CIRC status

Image shows a screenshot of the ALICE catalog with the following elements highlighted:

Online finding aid, Alden 5th Floor Archives & Special Collections as the Locations, and NON-CIRC as the Status

Once again, when you have identified an archival or manuscript collection you would like to see or learn more about, as outlined above either complete a Research Request Form or contact an archivist or librarian.