Special Collections & Archives (SCA) is pleased to announce the launch of the Archives Database, an online resource for searching SCA holdings.

Available descriptive records can be browsed by thematic area, academic disciplines or via keyword search (basic and advanced options are available), and the hierarchical nature of those descriptions can be viewed using the navigation tree at the top of each fonds or collection page.

How it improves archival research

The Archives Database provides web-based access to descriptive records that were previously only accessible via PDF finding aids or through mediated assistance from SCA staff. A long-term work in progress, record clean up, (re)description and the introduction of new descriptive records are on-going as SCA transitions to using the site as its primary descriptive database.

The Archives Database runs on AtoM, a popular archival descriptive platform used by archives across the country. Familiarity with the site will facilitate browsing archival holdings held at other academic libraries including Laurier, the University of Toronto, McMaster and Dalhousie.

We want to hear from you!

We would love to hear from you about your overall experience using the Archives Database. Although the changes that can be made to the design and functionality of the site are limited, we know there is room for improvement and we know that you may be able to assist with the improvement of biographical sketches or collection descriptions – please let us know one way or another.


The Archives Database would not be possible without the sustained and patient support of our colleagues in Digital Initiatives. We are particularly grateful to Brandon Uhlman for on-going administrative suport and to Lathangi Ganesharatnam for improvements to the site's look and feel.

Thanks is also due to Liz Wehner, Library Associate, Cataloguing and Information Services, and Paulina Hem, a former SCA Srivastava Intern, for their invaluable assistance cleaning up and migrating records. 

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