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Primary Source Research Guide
- Introduction
- Getting Started
- Primary and Secondary Sources
- Primary Source Samples
- About Archives
- Finding Aids
- Anatomy of a Finding Aid
Finding Primary Sources
- Resources
- Digital Collections
- Collections on Microfilm
Visiting Repositories
- Preparing for Your Visit
- What To Expect
- Links and Contact Information
Use and Reproduction
- Copyright
- Citing Sources

Searching the Five College Catalog for Archives & Manuscript Collections

The Five College Library Catalog includes archival and manuscript collections at Amherst, Hampshire, Mt. Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The Catalog is searchable by name, subject, or keyword (see search tips below). Catalog records for archival and manuscript collections provide a brief overview; they do not usually describe individual items. The catalog is divided into two parts: Four Colleges and UMASS and must be searched separately.

This site includes more detailed inventories, or finding aids, and is also searchable. See the detailed description of a finding aid and tips for searching this site for more information. Note: The Library Catalog also includes collections not found on this site, because the Catalog includes some collections for which a finding aid does not yet exist.

Search Tips

Author Search

The author of a collection is the name of the creator of the collection, whether an individual, family, or organization (example: Enter "Sanger, Margaret" as author for the Margaret Sanger Papers).

Author/Title Search

Archival and manuscript collection titles use:

  • Papers - for personal papers of individuals or families
  • Records - for official records of institutions and organizations
  • Collection - materials brought together under a common subject

You can narrow your search by using the Author/Title search and entering the appropriate term as the title (example: Ahmad/Papers; or Girls Club of Greenfield/Records).

Subject and Keyword Search

Use Subject or Keyword searches to search for topics, personal names, organizational names, or place names represented in collections:

A Subject search will only search the Library of Congress subject headings listed in the catalog record (example: Missionaries--China). It is more likely to pinpoint those collections that are pertinent to your topic as these are specific terms which highlight the most significant topics relevant to the collection.

Keyword searches all text fields including descriptive notes. It may not always produce satisfactory results as it is a more general search.

Search Limits

Limiting your search to archival material:

Once your search results are displayed, click "Limit/sort" at the top of the screen and select: "Archival material"

or, if doing a Keyword search, select: "Archival material." You can also add the terms "Papers" "Records" or "Collections" to narrow your search.

Limiting your search by institution in the Four College Catalog:

Once your search results are displayed, click "Limit/sort" at the top of the screen and under WHERE Item is located select the institution you are interested in.

If you don't find what you're looking for, contact the archives and special collections of the Five Colleges directly.

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Project funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Last update: May 24, 2004