What is a Finding Aid?

What is a Finding Aid?

Archival records and manuscripts are typically grouped into collections based on the individuals or institutional departments that generated the records. Sometimes, a collection is based on material type, such as photographs, audio or video recordings, or architectural plans. These collections are arranged and described by archivists to facilitate research. The finding aid is the product of this work, and it gives a variety of information to help you select materials for study.

You can use our finding aids to build a list of materials that you would like to consult when scheduling a research appointment. Please take note of the collection name, folder title, and date for each file that you would like to use, and email this information along with your research appointment request. For information on access to the archives, please contact: reference@barnesfoundation.org.

Please note that our finding aids are not linked to digitized copies of our documents. Our finding aids are meant to assist in using original copies of the material, by appointment only, at the Barnes Foundation’s Merion campus.

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