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Navigating and searching in ArchivesSpace

Purpose of this guide:

This guide answers common questions about navigating and searching in ArchivesSpace, which houses many of USD's Archives and Special Collections finding aids (collection guides).

How do I search for materials in Archives and Special Collections finding aids?


Location of ArchivesSpace search bar

  • Begin a basic search across all the collections by entering your search terms in the search bar. You may limit the search by searchable fields, record type, and date. The searchable fields are:
  • Keyword: Searches the entire text of the finding aid.
  • Title: Searches the titles of the materials described, including collection records, series and files within collections. If you know the precise title for the item or material you are looking for, searching by title can be very helpful.
  • Creator: Searches names of the persons, families, and organizations who created the collections.
  • Subject: Searches the subject headings assigned to materials by archivists and librarians, e.g. United States history.
  • Notes: Searches the text found within a note, which are detailed descriptions found within collections.
  • Identifier: Searches the identifier numbers, which are a unique collection numbers by which materials are tracked and requested.
  • Record types allow you to customize the type of records you want a search to return:
  • Limit to collections will only return records for collections, rather than people, subjects, series, and files.
  • Limit to digital materials attached to records for collections, rather than people, subjects, series, and files.
  • You may select a date span to limit the search results chronologically. Searching by date is approximate, and results may fall outside the date span you enter.
  • You may construct a more complex search by selecting the + icon and adding more search parameters.


Most of the content for this LibGuide is borrowed with permission from the University of Minnesota Library.

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