The Center for Archival Collections (CAC), located on the 5th floor, is an archival repository. We collect official and unofficial records of the university (university archives), materials that document the history of northwest Ohio and the Great Lakes, rare books, and collections related to student affairs administration. Our strengths are in local history, Great Lakes maritime history, women's history, the Civil War, education, and all aspects of the social, cultural, economic, and industrial history of northwest Ohio.
Materials in our holdings take a variety of forms and sizes, from textual reports and handwritten correspondence to film footage of athletic events and glass plates depicting rural life.
We are open Monday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. When possible we recommend contacting the staff to make an appointment, so we can have your materials ready for you. Appointments are not required, but if you let us know in advance when you are coming and what you want to see, it can save you time. We'll ask you to complete some simple paperwork when you arrive and you'll be able to start right away.
None of our materials circulate, nor are they browseable. You can access them via our Reading Room on the 5th floor. To request materials, you'll need to identify a call number (for individually catalogued items) or a collection name and box number (for archival collections).
Some of our materials are described individually in the library catalog; most of our holdings will have one record describing multiple boxes of materials with a link to our finding aids. Consider pairing searches of the catalog with searches of our finding aids, where you will find more in-depth information about collections.
If you find something that looks to be of interest, use the subject heading to find related materials. Some subject headings you may find useful within this course are:
Some resources that may be of interest include:
Finding aids are detailed lists of the contents of collections, typically lists of folders (they rarely describe individual items in a collection). Finding aids provide historical context for the collection as well as dates, provenance (where the collection came from), and information about physical format(s).
Archivists often organize archival material into series. Series can be characterized by the type of item (e.g. photographs, letters), by date, or as the donor wished them to be organized.
Finding aids are linked to records in the library catalog, but the catalog record does not provide much detail. To search across all of our finding aids, use our finding aids database (we are in the process of migrating databases; some catalog links may take you to our new interface, but the one linked here is the most comprehensive collection of all of our finding aids). You may also want to take a topical approach to browsing our finding aids. Lists of collections by topic are available from each of our collecting area pages.)
Because archival materials are generally maintained as collections and housed in boxes and folders, we need to know several pieces of information to pull items for you:
This information should all be presented to you in the finding aid. Here are some of the ways or places where you might find that information:
Archival material is stored in boxes of varying sizes in closed (non-accessible) stacks).
No one archive can hold all records. We specialize! For those of you with topics focused outside our region, I suggest the following potential repositories of primary sources online: