A finding aid is a descriptive guide or outline of an archival collection to assist researchers in understanding the content of the collection. This descriptive guide also provides contextual information that helps explain the collection’s significance.
An archival collection is a group of archival materials that originate from the same creator or donor. Archival collections can vary in size and content.
Our collections database is located on the Ball State University Archives and Special Collections webpage.
You can also type in the URL archivessearch.bsu.edu.
To search the database, you can use the search bar on the main page to type in your keywords. Once you run your initial search, you can select filters to narrow down the results.
You can also search the contents of the database using the categories located in the gray bar at the top of the main page. Items have been organized into the following categories:
The Collection Organization is located two ways.
A collection is ideally organized in a way that will most effectively allow a researcher to understand and utilize the materials. Therefore, a collection is sometimes divided into categories known as series. Series are groupings of materials arranged systematically or maintained as a unit because they relate to a particular function or subject. In some instances, a series will also contain groups of related material that can be arranged as sub-series to further organize the collection.
If a collection has been digitized, the finding aid may also contain links to the digital items in the Digital Media Repository.
The Container Inventory will provide a list of the boxes in the collection. Clicking on a box will reveal the files associated with that box number.