A finding aid is a tool for discovery. Examining a finding aid is the essential first step of research in a set of records or a collection of personal papers, documents or manuscripts. A finding aid is a guide to a collection: it describes the creator, scope and content and enables a researcher to make an informed decision if the materials merit closer inspection.
Our finding aids describe unpublished material held at ACU's Center for Restoration Studies and Milliken Special Collections. Throughout our nearly 500 collections are handwritten materials, diaries, ephemera, photographs, correspondence, typescripts and occasionally artifacts or realia. Materials created by single individuals are usually called manuscripts or personal papers. A set of items collected or assembled by a person is generally called a collectionrecords or archives. However, vertical files are artificial collections created by the library. Vertical files often contain the same types of unpublished materials as might be found in other collections but because they were collected by the library, they are housed together as a distinct set.
We have two sets of finding aids. One set describes our Archives, Manuscripts and Personal Papers. The other describes our Vertical Files.
The Center for Restoration Studies Archives, Manuscripts and Personal Papers Finding Aids series provides at least collection-level description for nearly 500 collections. In many cases downloadable PDF documents are available that provide greater detail including box lists, folder lists and sometimes item-level description.
The Vertical Files series provides folder-level description of five sub-sets of vertical files: Church Leaders, Congregations, World Churches, Organizational and Subject Files. Each sub-set has its own downloadable PDF listing the folders within the set.
Contact us to set up an appointment to view the items in person or arrange for content delivery by email or postal mail.