Skip to main content

Amp Up Your Archives!

About Amp Up Your Archives!

This is the home of Amp Up Your Archives! Whether you’re interested in preserving your Princeton experience, finding ways to digitize your material, learning how to manage your digital content, or want to learn more about the archival profession, this LibGuide is for you!

If you are involved with a student group, you may be particularity interested in the Student Organizations tab, which includes a toolkit to help manage your organization’s records. Check back periodically for project announcements and special events!

Your Student Life Archivist,
Valencia L. Johnson

What's a finding aid?

A finding aid is a guide to the archival collections an institution stewards. Think of it as a table of contents to a book. Archivists make data about collections available so researchers can search, find, and access material.

There are some terms archivists use that may be useful for you to know:

  • Collection: Materials collected by an organization or person that the archives stewards. The title of the collection revolves the overarching content of the material. For example: the Triangle Club Records, the Abigail Klionsky Oral History Collection on Jewish Life at Princeton, and the W. Arthur Lewis Papers.
     
  • Series: This is grouping of material in a collection with similar content. Think of it like a chapter in a book. Series are helpful when you have an idea of what you want to find. If you want to look at recordings of Triangle Club performance, a good place to start is Series 8: Recordings. Series can be further organized into subseries with more specific content groupings. Triangle Club Records Series 8: Records has 4 subseries organized by type of recording.  
     
  • Component record: The smallest level of the finding aid and usually what you request. If the component has digital content, this is the level where you can view it. Sometimes you have to click on the orange “View Content” button, other times the content is viewable on the same page.  
     
  • Access restrictions: This note is found under the Access and Use page for each collection and on each component record. A common restriction in the University Archives is the 30 year restriction for administrative records from the University offices and departments.