First Steps in Discovery: Online Finding Aids

What do you have in your archive?  Will any of it interest me?  These are critical questions; we address these concerns on a regular basis.  If the heart of any archive is its holdings, access to those collections is paramount.  A first place to discover the content of a collection is a finding aid.  A finding aid could be as simple as a box list, or it could be as detailed as an item list.  Whatever its level of detail, it describes the arrangement of the collection and assists a researcher in determining its research value.  Think of it as a roadmap to an archival collection.  An excellent finding aid saves researchers time and energy, allowing for efficient research and more rewarding study.  Believing our collections hold great potential for understanding and even transformation, our goal is to provide clear and accessible finding aids.

ACU’s Center for Restoration Studies holds hundreds of collections.  Some are small caches of a few photographs or diaries.  Others consist of congregational items like a single church directory or cassette-tape sermons or newsletters.  Others are robust collections–dozens of boxes of scholarly research notes and correspondence.  As we roll out expanded finding aids for these collections, we will post them here.  All collections will also be entered into the Library’s online catalog, and therefore will be visible to the world in  If you need assistance or would like to arrange for in-person or remote research assistance, click here.