Understanding finding aids

Finding aids are documents that contain information about the material that is part of a fonds or a collection.  Finding aids are used by researchers to determine if the records in the collection or fonds hold information that is significant to their research.  They are prepared in accordance with archival descriptive standards.

There are several sections that researchers should be aware of when reading a finding aid that will help determine whether the material is relevant to their researcher.

Understanding finding aids

Understanding finding aids

Other areas that will provide you will important information include:

Conditions governing access and reproduction: This area will inform the researcher of any restrictions placed on the material, which may impact a users ability to request the material.  It may also specify whether copies of material can be made, and if copies can be made, under what conditions it can be accomplished.

Language of material:  This area will indicate the language of the material in the collection/fonds. 

Related material: This area will list any material that is related to the collection/fonds that the user is viewing.