Finding aids for UT Libraries’ archival collections are available and searchable online. Researchers may have noticed, when searching our online archival resources recently, that there have been some changes to SCOUT (Special Collections Online at UT), the portal to our finding aids. Our finding aids provide researchers with details about archival material in specific collections, including information on the creator of the collection, what the material covers, and a list of folder titles. Researchers have been able to use SCOUT to search in and across archival collections in this way for many years — and now there is a new interface, brought to us by an open-source archives management software called ArchivesSpace.
What may not be immediately apparent is that ArchivesSpace actually does more than host our finding aids. It’s a tool that Special Collections staff can also use to manage and track our collections. With ArchivesSpace, any update we make to our finding aids gets to the public without delay. Previously, we had to use separate software to enter and manage archival information, and then have the Libraries’ hard-working Digital Initiatives department export and publish the finished finding aids to another website. ArchivesSpace — also adapted and maintained for us by Digital Initiatives — integrates archival management and public access into one “space.”
Users of SCOUT can search all of our 4,267 (and counting) collections by keyword, date range, name, or subject. Users can also request materials or generate a citation for the collection from within the finding aid. Be on the lookout for more information and an online tutorial to learn more, or just reach out to one of us. We’re here to help you find what you need from the archives.
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