What are finding aids?


Finding aids describe the materials located at the Central Upper Peninsula & NMU Archives.  These materials are either manuscript collections, meaning that the materials were created or put together by individuals or families, or archival records.  Archival records refer to those materials created by organizations, such as businesses or institutions.  At the Central Upper Peninsula & NMU Archives, we put records created by any NMU-associated department, organization, or individual into the "University Series" of archival records, to make it easier to organize and retrieve the collections.

Finding aids are organized according to national standards and encoded in Encoded Archival Description (EAD), a standard that organizes the information in the finding aid.  Each finding aid gives information about the original of the materials in the collection; provides a brief background of the individual or organization that created the collection; a "scope and content note" that describes the nature of the materials in the collection; and a detailed list of the contents of the collection (sometimes down to the individual item).  Finding aids also include access information, such as if any materials are restricted from public use and where to find the materials.

If you have any questions about finding aids or how to interpret them, don't hesitate to contact us and ask.