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Special Collections
Hornbake Library
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Tel: 301-405-9212
Fax: 301-314-2709
Contact Us
Web: www.lib.umd.edu/special
All Collections

ArchivesUM: Help

For basic information about archives, manuscripts, and finding aids, please view the Archives and Manuscripts Department Frequently Asked Questions.

How to Search for Collection Information in ArchivesUM

Browse

ArchivesUM is designed to allow users to Browse the holdings in the ArchivesUM database in three separate ways. The options are available using the left-hand browse column.

Results in Browse
  • Results for the Browse feature are displayed as an alphabetical listing, sorted by author/creator name.
  • Users may click on the (Abstract)link next to the name in order to view an abstract description of the collection.
  • If a full finding aid is available online, the user may click directly on the (Finding Aid) link from the search page. A link to the finding aid is also available from the abstract page.

Alphabetical List of All Collections

  • Select a letter from the pull-down menu to view all the collections falling under that letter.
  • To view all of the collections in the ArchivesUM database, select All from the pull-down menu.

Browse Collections by Unit

  • Browse Collections by Unit allows users to view all of the collections within a specific contributing unit to ArchivesUM.
  • Select a unit name from the pull-down menu. For example, selecting "Historical Manuscripts" will display all the collections in the database that originate in the historical manuscripts unit.

Browse Collections by Subject Category

  • Browse Collections by Subject Category allows users to view subject guides that tie together collections from a variety of places into one document. The subject guides also contain references to non-archival collections, and often highlight specific documents relating to the subject category.
  • Select a subject heading from the pull-down menu. For example, selecting "Civil War in MD" will display the subject guide "Civil War in Maryland : Stars, Stripes, and Glory."

Advanced Search

The Advanced Searchscreen allows users to perform more advanced keyword searches on the collections in the database.

PLEASE NOTE: Not all of our full finding aids are available online. In many cases, only the abstracts are entered into the database. Therefore, an advanced search may produce results that inaccurately reflect our holdings. If results are not as expected, please contact the Archives and Manuscripts Department.

Results in Advanced Search

  • Results for Advanced Search are listed on order of assumed relevance.
  • Asterisks next to each result indicate the supposed relevancy of the collection to the search term.
  • Users may click on the (Abstract)link next to the name in order to view an abstract description of the collection. If a full finding aid is available online, the user may click directly on the (Finding Aid) link from the search page. A link to the finding aid is also available from the abstract page.

String Searches

Keyword/Entire Document
  • This is the simplest search to perform. Users should enter a keyword into the text box. For example, a keyword search on the word "insect" returns results where the word "insect" appears anywhere in the abstract or finding aid.
Author/Creator
  • The Author/Creator search allows users to search for the author/creator of a collection.
  • Example. Search on "Agnew."
    • This returns only one collection, the Papers of Spiro T. Agnew.
    • A search on "Smith," however, returns several collections, all created by people with "Smith" in their name.
Biographical/Historical Note
  • The Biographical/Historical note search allows users to search only within the Biographical/Historical Note section of a finding aid.
  • THIS SEARCH WILL ONLY WORK WITH COLLECTIONS FOR WHICH AN ENTIRE FINDING AID IS AVAILABLE.
  • Example. Search the word "Barnes" in the biographical/historical note section.
    • This will return the Papers of the Baroness von Freytag-Loringhoven and the Papers of the Davis Family, because both of those collections have full finding aids in the database.
    • It might not, however, return the Papers of Djuna Barnes, since that collection only exists in the database in abstract form at present.
Box Inventory
  • The Box Inventory search allows users to search only within the Box Inventory section of a finding aid.
  • THIS SEARCH WILL ONLY WORK WITH COLLECTIONS FOR WHICH AN ENTIRE FINDING AID IS AVAILABLE.
  • Example. Find folders entitled "Mexico" in a collection.
    • Enter the word "Mexico" in the text field and select "box inventory " from the pull-down menu.
    • Result will include collections in which a folder or item in the collection contains the heading "Mexico" or has the word "Mexico" as part of the heading.
Scope and Content Note
  • The Scope and Content Note search is perhaps one of the most useful searches. The information in the Scope and Content note describes the overall subjects/themes of a collection.
  • THIS SEARCH WILL ONLY WORK WITH COLLECTIONS FOR WHICH AN ENTIRE FINDING AID IS AVAILABLE.
  • Example. Search on the word " Mexico " in the scope and content note to find collections for which " Mexico " is a main theme. These results may be different than the box inventory search of " Mexico " described above, because these collections may not actually have a folder entitled " Mexico ," even though items within those folders relate to the topic of Mexico.
    • A search on "Mexico" returns the Papers of Word H. Mills. The Scope and Content Note section of the finding aid explains: "The papers of Word H. Mills … consist of … two drafts of essays concerning socialist movements in Mexico…. These essays are located in a folder entitled Essaysin Series III of the collection.
Subject Heading
  • The Subject Heading search searches the Library of Congress assigned subject headings for each collection.
  • THIS SEARCH WILL ONLY WORK WITH COLLECTIONS FOR WHICH AN ENTIRE FINDING AID IS AVAILABLE.
  • Because the Library of Congress headings are a controlled vocabulary, results are subject to some ambiguity.
  • Example. Search for collections with "Mexico" as a subject heading:
    • A search on the word " Mexico " in the subject heading section will return 0 results.
    • We know from the example above that the Papers of Word H. Mills contain essays on Mexico. The subject term assigned to this collection, however, is Confederacion Regional Obrera Mexicana -- History -- Sources,which is the official Spanish name for the "Mexican Regional Confederation of Labor."
    • It is possible to do a truncated search, so that a search on Mexic* will return any words in the subject heading that begin with Mexic.
Title of Collection
  • The Title of Collection search allows users to search collections by their official title. Often, the title and the author/creator are the same. For example, the title of the papers that were created by Richard White is the "Richard White Collection."

Limiting Searches in Advanced Search

Searches may be limited by Unitor by Subjectby selecting an option or pair of options from the pull-down menus below the text fields on the search screen.

By Unit
  • Example. To search for the keyword "entomology" as it might appear only in University Archives collections:
    • Enter "entomology" as a keyword.
    • Select "University Archives" from the By Unit pull-down menu.
    • Click on the Searchbutton at the bottom of the screen.
    • This will return only University Archives collections containing the keyword "entomology."
By Subject
  • Example. To search for the keyword "Virginia" as it might appear only in collections relating to the Civil War
    • Enter "Virginia" as a keyword.
    • Select "Civil War in MD" from the By Subject pull-down menu.
    • Click on the Searchbutton at the bottom of the screen.
    • This will return only collections containing the keyword "Virginia" with an overall subject theme
Boolean Searches (And, Or, and Not)

It is possible to combine terms and features to create complex searches. The Advanced Search allows users to combine up to three different terms, using the Boolean operators And, Or, and Not.

  • Example. Search for collections containing term "Agnew" that are not the Papers of Spiro T. Agnew.
    • In the first search box, enter Agnewand select Keyword/Entire Document from the pull-down menu.
    • Select Notfrom the next pull-down menu.
    • In the second search box, enter Agnewand select Author/Creator from the pull-down menu.
    • Click the Searchbutton.
    • This returns collections in which Agnew is mentioned, but eliminates the actual collection created by Agnew (The Papers of Spiro T. Agnew).