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Search for Archival Materials

This website will help you search ArchivesSpace for archival materials in Middlebury's Special Collections.

Start your search

Using the search bar in the middle of the page, enter your search terms

If you are searching for an individual's name or an exact phrase, put your search terms in quotes, like "Joshua Bates" or "Old Chapel." Note that these searches will not return results for "Bates, Joshua" or "chapel."

While a basic search is probably all that you need, you can click the plus (+) symbol to the right of the search bars to include multiple terms. 

If you are searching for archival materials produced during a specific span of time, you may enter the years in the "From" and "To" bars.

Advanced search tips

  • Searches are not case sensitive.
  • To exclude a term from your search, put a minus sign in front of it. (For example, the search “social work” -school will find materials with the phrase “social work” but without the word school.)
  • Create advanced searches by clicking the + button to add a new line to your search.
  • “Wildcard” symbols ? and * help return a greater number of relevant results by searching for variant spellings and forms of search terms simultaneously.
    • ? replaces a single letter in a search term (e.g. searching wom?n will return both women and woman, and searching archiv? will return both archive and archivy)
    • * replaces any number of letters at the end of a search term (e.g. searching mission* will return mission, missions, missionary, and missionaries)
    • ? and * may not be used as the first character of a word.
    • To use a wildcard in combination with another search term (e.g. wom?n suffrage), use the + icon to create another row and enter each search term in a separate row.

Narrow your search

If your search yields many results and you want to filter them, use this "Filter Results" option on the right side of the results page. You can enter an additional search term or dates here. 

Navigating ArchivesSpace finding aids

This is what it looks like when you view a finding aid in ArchivesSpace: 


The "Collection organization" tab on the right side of the screen tells you how the page that you are currently viewing fits into the larger collection (in this case, the larger collection is Office of the President). 


Using your cursor, you can expand this menu so that you can read the full lines of text by clicking on the vertical gray bar to the left of the text and dragging it to the left. 



 You can also scroll through this menu to view other presidents of the college, clicking on the greater than (>) symbol to expand each name. 



 Clicking on anything in this menu will bring you to a new page. To navigate back to your original page, use the back button or the Collection Organization menu.




What can I learn from a finding aid?

Read through the information on the page. You might find dates for the material in the collection, biographical information, extent (or collection size) information, as well as information about the types of materials in the collection. Notice that some of the sections can be expanded by clicking "See more" (like in the Biographical / Historical section below).


When you get close to the bottom of the page, click "Expand all." Sometimes you can link out to spreadsheets, related finding aids, and digitized materials from here. 


Some finding aids have red boxes near the top of the page. Clicking on these links will take you to spreadsheets or to the Internet Archive, which contains many digitized items in Special Collections. To get started searching the Internet Archive (, see this guide.