OhioLINK Finding Aid Repository
Help and Tips
The OhioLINK Finding Aid Repository contains descriptions of archival, manuscript, and primary source collections found in institutions across the state of Ohio. Finding aids are documents that describe the contents of archival collections, providing researchers with detailed information about these collections, including who created or collected the material, how the collection may be used and accessed, and (often) detailed inventories of the collection's contents.
Archival collections may include a wide range of materials including documents, personal papers such as diaries and letters, manuscripts, photographs, audio-visual materials, artifacts/objects, and just about any other type of medium you can imagine.
Archival collections are very useful for projects involving the utilization of primary sources (as opposed to those projects relying on secondary sources such as contemporary books and journal articles).
Where Else Can I Locate Finding Aids?
A number of institutions have placed finding aids on the Web. Therefore, a targeted Web search can often help you to locate archival finding aids. Ask your local librarian or archivist for assistance in locating finding aids on the Web. OCLC WorldCat is another source for locating archival collections. Again, you may benefit from assistance from your local librarian or archivist when searching in OCLC WorldCat.
How Do I Use the OhioLINK Finding Aid Repository?
There are two primary ways to use the OhioLINK Finding Aid Repository:
A basic search allows you to search by keyword, name, or other type of term across all of the finding aids in the system. Though this might be a good way to start your searching, you may find that you get too many results for certain search terms, and will need to narrow your search by using the Advanced Search feature.
The Advanced Search allows you to search by keyword, but to limit your search by placing search terms specific to a number of fields including:
You may also use the Advanced Search function to limit your search results to collections housed at a single institution.
Finding aids in the Repository may be browsed in three ways:
Saving Finding Aids
You may save finding aids in the system as you locate ones that you would like to return to. Click on "Save" (to the far right in search or browse results lists) in order to save a given Finding Aid. When you wish to view saved finding aids, click on "Saved Records" in the upper-righthand corner. You may then view these saved finding aids online, or email them to yourself by clicking on "Email My Saved Records."
You may view a printer-friendly version of any finding aid in the system. Once you have selected a particular finding aid, click on "Print View" in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. A new tab or window will be opened in your browser with a printer-friendly version of the finding aid. You can print the document out from this tab or window, or copy and past the text into a Word file or other format on your computer.