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University Archives and Special Collections Research

Introduction to Archival Research

The University Archives and Special Collections holds a variety of documents, university records, faculty publications, manuscript collections, photographs, and realia. Research assistance is available via e-mail, phone, or in person.

Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 am-4:00 pm
*Please call ahead if possible to confirm hours

Contact: 217-581-6093, 217-581-8457 or

Archival Collections and Finding Aids

University Archives collections and finding aids for them can be found by searching the holdings in the University Archives homepage searchbox. Not all archival collections have finding aids, however.
What are finding aids? Finding aids are documents that contain detailed information about a particular archival collection. A collection could contain many things, including correspondence, manuscripts, or photographs. Among other things, the finding aid typically contains biographical information about the collection's creator, and information about the arrangement and size of the collection. Some are paper, some are in Word document or PDF form, and other versions are displayed electronically with clickable links. Below is one such example of one of the finding aids from the University Archives:

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