The Archives Collections Listing includes all of the archival collections in SC&A, providing information about their size, whether there is a finding aid or preliminary inventory, and any restrictions. Those collections that have a finding aid will be listed in Archival Finding Aids. A finding aid is a detailed guide to an archival collection, including the history of the person or group that created the records; the way the collection is organized; the contents of boxes and folders; and related materials about the topic. A finding aid is not digitized papers, but it provides information about the scope and depth of a collection. The search box on the SC&A homepage can be used to search through the collections listing and finding aids (as well as the rest of the SC&A webpages). Within an individual finding aid, the command “control-f” will allow for word or phrase searching.
About 90% of Wesleyan's rare books are represented in Wesleyan’s online library catalog. To search specifically for items in SC&A, use the catalog's “Advanced Search,” and under “Location,” select “Special Collections & Archives.” Many rare book catalog records describe unique characteristics of the books, including provenance (bookplates, inscriptions, former owners), physical characteristics (vellum bindings, limited edition bindings), and so forth. Books that are part of a specific collection can often be searched by the collection name, for example, the “Kallir Family Collection,” or the “Nathan Comfort Starr Collection of Arthuriana.” Simply type the phrase, including the quotation marks, as a keyword search. For more detailed tips and instructions on searching for Special Collections items in the online catalog, click here.
As not all items are fully cataloged or described, please contact the staff of Special Collections & Archives with specific research inquiries.