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Archives Research Center General Research Guide: Manuscript & Archival Collections

Identifying and locating primary sources at the Archives Research Center and Beyond

Library Quick Links

 Semester Research Hours for Summer 2020


Mon. – Thurs. 1pm-5pm
Fri. 1pm-5pm
Sat. Closed
Sun. Closed


*Appointments must be made 24 business hours in advance.



Manuscript and Archival Highlights (scroll down)

undefinedThe core of the manuscript holdings in Archives Research Center is built upon the Atlanta University Trevor Arnett Library's Negro Collection. Under the auspices of the Robert W. Woodruff Library, the archival and manuscript holdings continue to develop and expand. Some of the collections in our holdings document civil rights, race relations, education, literature, visual and performing arts, religion, politics, and social work and many others.  

 Click here to browse our Manuscript Collections

What is a Finding Aid?

Finding aids act as inventories that describe and list the contents of collections and contain information about the person, family, or organization that created the collection.

Through the Archives Research Center finding aids website, you will be able to search and browse finding aids for more than 150 collections available for research. Visit the link below to access the Archives Research Center finding aids.



Types of Records

Organization of Materials


  • A group of materials with some unifying characteristic
  • Materials assembled by a person, organization, or repository from a variety of sources.


  • A group of similar records that are arranged according to a filing system and that are related as the result of being created, received or used in the same activity


  • A body of documents within a series readily distinguished from the whole by filing arrangement, type, form, or content.


  • A group of documents related by use or topic, typically housed in a folder.

Description of Materials


  • A human individual


  • A corporate body


  • Theme or topic of a work


  • A package or housing used to hold materials, such as a box or folder


  • A person, family, or corporate body that created, assembled, accumulated, and/or maintained and used records in the context of personal or corporate body activity. A creator can also be responsible for the intellectual content of a single item.