It’s official! The Illinois State University Archives has preserved and made available 100 collections.

Since 2011, the staff at the ISU Archives has been working diligently to preserve and provide access to hidden ISU history collections. Collections such as presidential papers, student organization papers, and records on ISU’s long history have all been preserved and documented for all researchers to use.

This also means there are now 100 finding aids in our finding aids database! What is a finding aid? A finding aid is a fancy inventory, telling you were to find certain types of documents in a given collection.

Let’s say you wanted to see what files our 11th president, Robert Bone, had on the demolition of Old Main. You could do this a few ways. First, by keyword searching from our finding aids database’s home page. From here, you could scroll through all of our collections, including Bone’s papers, for mentions of Old Main. Or, you could go to his finding aid and search the inventory yourself. Or, you could go to Milner Library’s home page, search for “Robert Bone” and choose “University Archives” as a location. A catalog record with a link to his finding aid will be one of the first results. In his finding aids, we’ve broken down Bone’s materials into sections of information. To find folders on Old Main, you would go to Series II: Business Affairs, Sub-Series 5: University Buildings and Grounds, and see that folder number 265 in box number 9 contains information on Old Main. We’ve done this level of inventory on all of our available collections and will continue this as we work through more university history.

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Before we end the year, we wanted to thank all of our tireless volunteers, interns, and student assistants that help us make these collections available. Without their hard work, we certainly wouldn’t have made it this far! So, thank you to all of you who support us in preserving ISU’s history!

Happy holidays, Redbirds, and we’ll see you in 2016.