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Help with Searching the Finding Aids

This program searches the index for whatever words you indicate. It is not case-sensitive, and it will find the words you type regardless of the order in which they appear. If you type Theodore Martin Hesburgh it will also find records that say Hesburgh, Theodore Martin. But it makes more sense to put the less common name first and to omit the middle name, which the indexer might have omitted in making the index.

Our search form also allows you to exclude certain keywords or to limit by format or by date range.

A Notre Dame Archives inventory does NOT provide links to images of the documents it describes. It resembles a library's catalog in which one expects to find bibliographical descriptions but not the whole text of the actual books.


Understanding Search Results

When you do a keyword search of our inventories, you will see a list of results -- pertinent lines taken out of context of the finding aids. The results entries will be similar to the following:

1. Collection Code: This is the code that we give to each individual collection. By clicking the hyperlink, you will see this entry in context within its finding aid. The very first letter corresponds to the format of the material.


C = Manuscript Collection
U = Official University Record
P = Printed Material
D = Digital Data
G = Graphic/photograph
A = Audio-visual
M = Microfilm
O = Object/artifact

2. Item Type

3. Item Description

4. Item Date, if known


Understanding the Finding Aids

In the frames version of our online Finding Aids, the grey frame at the top contains an outline of a collection with links to various parts of it. You can see more of this outline by pulling down the bottom of the frame. You can go to the list of our collections by clicking on the title of the collection at the top.

The middle frame displays details of the finding aid -- generally an overview with a note concerning the scope and content of the collection followed by a container list. The finding aid provides information concerning our holdings; you can seldom actually see the images documents described. In other words, the finding aid resembles a library catalog that gives information about books without presenting the full text of those books.

The bottom frame contains a form that lets you search the contents of the individual finding aid you have before you. To search many finding aids at once, use "Search Our Collections" instead. Of course, to search a single finding aid makes little sense if it is so short that you can see the whole thing in the middle frame. But many of our finding aids are quite long, and the middle frame shows only a segment at a time. For these, it helps to have the ability to search the whole finding aid.



Ordering Items

If you see something in an inventory that interests you, please refer to our fee schedule and then contact us. We would need to know the collection code, any numbers that follow, and the description. Generally you can do this most easily by marking the text that interests you, copying it to your clipboard, and pasting it into your email message.