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What should I know about phrasing my searches?

How can I filter my search results?

Which repositories are included in Archives at Yale?

Archives at Yale includes finding aids from 10 repositories at Yale University:

Each repository has its own location, hours, and policies for providing access to its collections. Please consult the repository with questions about using the materials.

How do I know which repository holds a collection?

When you’ve done a search and are on the search results page, the “found in” breadcrumb trail at the bottom of each search result indicates which repository holds the collection.

A snapshot of a single search result in Archives at Yale, with the Found In section highlighted to indicate the holding repository for that particular collection.

When you’re viewing a record, the breadcrumb trail at the top of the page indicates which repository holds the collection.

An image of a finding aid in Archives at Yale, with the breadcrumbs section highlighted, which indicate the holding repository for that particular collection.

How do I request materials?

To request materials from a collection, select the request button at the top of the page.

Request icon in Archives at Yale

After you click on the request button:

  1. You will be asked to log into your special collections account or to create an account if you are a new user.
  2. You will be taken to the request review page, where you should see the item listed, along with any other requests you may have placed in review.
  3. Check the box next to the item(s) you wish to request.
  4. Please note the “reading room” and “availability” columns, as they will indicate where the item can be viewed and when it can be made available for your use.
  5. Select your visitation date based on this information and press the submit request button to send the request to the repository. If you're unsure if you want to immediately order the box, you may leave the request in your queue. Doing so allows you to queue any number of requests without ordering them, important as most repositories allow you to order only ten items per visit.

Each repository has its own location, hours, and policies for providing access to its collections. Please consult the repository with questions about using the materials. Collections are non-circulating and must be used in the repository’s reading room. In many cases the collections are stored off-site and require advance notice for retrieval.

Please note that although the system allows requesting on the item level, you do not need to place multiple requests for items within the same box. For instance, if you want to view Beinecke YCAL MSS 42 Box 52 folders 1542-1547, you should place only a single request for Box 52.

Note that requesting is not enabled for the Divinity School Library, Peabody Museum of Natural History, or the Yale Center for British Art. To request a research visit to view those materials, please contact the repository.

How do I register for a special collections account?

You will be prompted to create an account after clicking the request button. You may also create an account here: landing page.

First, you will be asked to read and accept Yale’s library user agreement. Researchers with a valid Yale NetID can use Yale’s Central Authentication Service (CAS) to register online and create a special collections account. All other researchers must provide a valid email address to complete registration.

For additional information about registering for an special collections account, including forms of identification you must bring for your first visit, see the Using Special Collections at the Yale University Library registration page.

How is this different from YFAD?

Some of the biggest changes you may notice include:

Does Archives at Yale include all archival materials at Yale? What if I can’t find what I’m looking for?

Archives at Yale does not include all archival materials at Yale. Materials not included here are:

Glossary of Terms and Symbols

Archives are materials created or received by a person, family, or organization that are preserved because of the enduring value of the information they contain.

Collections are groups of materials assembled by a person, family, organization, or repository. They can be divided hierarchically into series, groupings, and files.

Containers are anything that houses or stores archival materials. A container might be a standard size archival box, an oversize box, a broadside folder, or a media case.

Digital records are born-digital and digitized materials that are available online.

Finding aids allow users to discover, understand, and access archival collections. Finding aids describe the creation, arrangement, content, and context of archival materials.

Repositories are institutions that hold archival materials. Archives at Yale contains finding aids from 10 repositories at Yale University, including libraries, special collections, and museums.

Name records are the people, families, and organizations that create archival materials. In Archives at Yale, users can view name records to see all of the collections created by a person, family, or organization. Name records are shared across all libraries and repositories at Yale, and staff choose them from controlled lists, including the Library of Congress.

Subject records are topics, places, and genres used to describe the context and content of archival materials. In Archives at Yale, users can view a subject record to see all of the collections relating to that topic, place, or genre. Subject records are shared across all libraries and repositories at Yale, and staff choose them from controlled lists, including the Library of Congress.


Request icon in Archives at Yale
Use the request button to place a request for the selected material. For more information about requesting material, see the requesting materials section above.


Preferred citation icon in Archives at Yale
Use the citation button to generate a formatted citation for the material you are viewing. Citations can be generated at all levels of a finding aid, including at the folder or item level.


Download PDF icon in Archives at Yale
Use the PDF finding aid button to access a fully formatted PDF of a finding aid. PDFs can be accessed at all levels of a finding aid.


Ask a question icon in Archives at Yale
Use the Ask a Question button to ask a question about a finding aid or a general question about Archives at Yale. Please consult the Archives at Yale help page and the repository page to see if your question has already been answered before asking a question.


Suggest a correction icon in Archives at Yale
Use the Suggest a Correction feature to suggest a correction to a finding aid. Corrections include incorrect dates, misidentified individuals, events, or places, misspellings, or mislabeled or misfiled folders.


What if I have questions? Where should I go for help with Archives at Yale?

If you have questions about a finding aid, please use the Ask a Question button in the upper right corner of the finding aid. Please consult the Archives at Yale help page and the repository page to see if your question has already been answered before asking a question.

If you have a general question, you are welcome to please submit it here:

Ask a question about Archives at Yale