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How To Conduct Research in the IU Libraries University Archives

Searching the Collections

Many of the collections are searchable through Archives Online. Enter your search term in the box, and choose "University Archives, IU Bloomington" before clicking the search button. Once you select a collection to view, click on "Entire Document" on the left of the screen to view the entire inventory of the collection. 

This is called a "finding aid" because it aids you in finding what you need in the collection. The "Title" of the collection and the "Collection No."are listed in the first portion of the finding aid. The "Collection No." is what you use to request a collection, along with the specific box numbers. Make sure to use the finding aid to help you locate which boxes have materials of interest. Read more on requesting materials below.

Helpful online tutorials that provide more detailed information on searching and accessing our collections are listed below:

How to search in Archives Online

Finding Aid Description

Accessing the Collections

About 95% of the collections are located at the Auxiliary Library Facility (ALF), which means you will need to request your materials at least 48 hours ahead of time. You may request items by emailing When you email, please include the collection number and the box(es) you would like to see. For example: C43, Boxes 7, 10, and 23. 

Image of the Auxiliary Library Facility

Photo of the Auxiliary Library Facility (ALF)

Accessing Digital Collections

Many collections in the Archives have a selection of materials that have been digitized. To access the digital images in the collections, search Archives Online for your specific research interest. Click on the collection. To the left of the page will be a camera icon and "Items Online." Click on "Items Online" and you will see a list of digitized images and their links. Click on "View Item(s)" to display the digitized image. Please note that not all of our collections are digitized and many are not digitized fully; therefore, some collections will not have the "Items Online" link.

Image of Archives Online


For more detailed information on how to access our digital collections, please visit our helpful tutorial.