The Northwest Digital Archives (NWDA) provides enhanced access to archival and manuscript collections in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington through a union database of Encoded Archival Description (EAD) finding aids.
SCUA contributes our online finding aids to NWDA to make them accessible on the web. To date we have 572 finding aids in the system. Over the past year we have developed new, enhanced procedures that will enable us to add more finding aids than ever before to NWDA.
The Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology defines a finding aid as:
n. ~ 1. A tool that facilitates discovery of information within a collection of records. – 2. A description of records that gives the repository physical and intellectual control over the materials and that assists users to gain access to and understand the materials.
Put more simply, a finding aid is a document that provides information about a specific collection.
There are many ways to search NWDA and on an upcoming post we’ll have tips for locating our finding aids.
SCUA also has paper finding aids available in the Paulson Reading Room. Many collections only have a paper finding aid to date. Even some collections that have NWDA finding aids may have paper finding aids with additional information or more detailed information.