How to search

There are mutliple ways to find archival collections, use the collection search tools to conduct your search. If you are new to using archival collection guides or having trouble finding what you need, contact the Reference Desk, or unit staff.

Collection search tools

Archival collection guides

An archival collection guide, sometimes called a finding aid, is guide to a group of archival records, personal papers, or manuscripts. It may be a brief summary, or a detailed description and inventory. The collection guide describes the origin, extent, dates, contents, topics, and organization of the records.

Published collection guides are available through the University of Minnesota Finding Aid Database, but not all collections have published guides. 

Digital collections

Our digital collections are housed in UMedia, an online platform for digitized archival material. It includes images, media, and records from Archives and Special Collections. Not all of our materials are digitized. 

Libraries catalog

The University of Minnesota Libraries catalog, also called MNCAT, will include catalog information for rare and special books, periodicals, and other publications held by our units.

Not finding what you need?

A staff person in Archives and Special Collections will be glad to assist you.


Tip: If you don't get any search results, try terms that were used in the era you are researching. For example, the historical term "hygiene" gets more results than the modern term "wellness."