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Archives Home > Research: Finding Aids
Finding aids are descriptive inventories, indexes, or guides that repositories create to describe and provide access to the contents of archival records and manuscript collections. Finding aids provide information about records, the context of their creation, archival actions such as acquisition and processing, and often a detailed contents list.
Approximately 68% of the Archives Department's collections are described in online finding aids, which are included in Archival Resources in Wisconsin, a database finding aids of collections held in nineteen repositories statewide. (The remaining percentage of our holdings are "small collections" consisting of a single item or folder. These are usually described in catalog records.) Guidance for conducting searches in Archival Resources in Wisconsin follows:
Approximately 95% of our holdings are described in the UWM Libraries' online catalog, PantherCat. Although more numerous than the finding aids, these catalog records provide less extensive information about each collection. We recommend that researchers use both Archival Resources in Wisconsin and PantherCat to conduct comprehensive searches of our holdings.
Comments or questions for the Archives? Send them to Ask an Archivist or call (414) 229-5402.