Use an archival finding aid


A "finding aid" describes the contents of an archival collection. It is the first thing to look at before handling a collection at Special Collections and University Archives.

Access archival finding aids

Try the new UIC Special Collections and University Archives Finding Aid Search!

We're pleased announce a preview of the new search system for UIC finding aids.  You can use this system to discover resources in Special Collections and University Archives by searching for your topic or by browsing popular topics.  See How to search Special Collections and University Archives finding aids for search tips.

  • See the list of finding aids at UIC.
  • Visit Explore Chicago Collections for finding aids from libraries, museums and archives throughout Chicago, including UIC.
  • Ask a Librarian for help. Some collections have not been processed yet or there is no finding aid online. If you don't see a collection you are interested in, we'll be happy to assist you.

Use archival finding aids

  1. Read the abstract, the scope and contents, and the biographical or administrative history to get a sense of what the collection contains.
  2. Note any restrictions on the collection.
  3. Look at the inventory list.
  4. Write down the series numbers and box numbers you would like to view.
  5. Note whether the collection is at the Richard J. Daley Library in Chicago or at the Library of Health Sciences-Chicago.
  6. Ask a Librarian to make an appointment or if you have any questions about the archival finding aid or the collection it refers to.

Collection-specific guides

We have a number of online guides that explain how to read specific finding aids for particularly large collections:

For other guides related to other holdings and to popular subject areas, check out our list of UIC Special Collections and University Archives research guides.

Our reading rooms have special hours

View Daley Library hours and Library of the Health Sciences-Chicago hours.


  • updated: May 26, 2021
  • views: 811

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