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Emory Law Archives and Manuscripts Research: Archival Research Skills

Emory Law Archives COVID-19 Announcement

In response to the COVID-19 virus and in accordance with Emory University Libraries, the Emory Law Archives will be closed to visitors beginning on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. During this period of closure, the ELA will continue to provide limited remote services, as we are able, including responding to research queries and holding research appointments remotely, but reproduction services will be limited and reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Do You Have A Question for the Law Archives?

If you have a question for the archives, please complete this form to schedule a research appointment. 

Finding Archive Resources

Archives and Manuscripts

Archives emerge every day when a person, organization, or government creates and keeps a record of their actions. The term archive can refer to records themselves, the organization that houses the records, or the area where the records are held. Archives hold recorded material that has long-term permanent value for the organization

Manuscripts are handwritten, unpublished materials, typically a collection of personal or family papers. Manuscripts can include typescripts, photographs, diaries, speeches, photographs, financial records, logbooks, maps, or news clippings. 

How to Use A Finding Aid

What is a Finding Aid?

Archival Finding Aids, also known as an inventory or collection list, are tools that provide a description of the contents that make up a collection. Finding Aids allow researchers to understand the layout of the collection, like a Table of Contents of a book. 

The physical arrangement of the archive is not like a library's arrangement by topic and subject matter. In an archive, materials about similar subjects matter may be held in different collections of the archive based on when or how the materials were created. Just like you would use a library's catalog to find a book, you will use an archival finding aid to find where items are located in the collection. Finding Aids explain how and when archival materials were created, how the archive acquired the materials, how the archivist arranged the collection, and where to find the materials.

How Do I Use a Finding Aid? 

To learn how to successfully consult a Finding Aid, consider consulting the archive guides linked below: 

Using the ELA Archives

Emory Law Archives Access

Emory Law Archives: The Emory Law Archives acquires, preserves, and makes available to researchers materials of permanent historical and research value.

To search only Emory Law materials, click on “Find Manuscripts & Archives” then “See all EmoryFindingAids related to Law materials.”

To complete an Advanced Search by keyword, click on Advanced Search, and limit the Repository to either the “Emory University Archives” or “Emory Law Archives, Hugh F. MacMillan Law Library.”

For instructions Using a Finding Aid, please find information at this link

ELA Finding Aids

Emory Finding Aids

The EmoryFindingAids database provides access to descriptions of Emory's unique primary resources. Search this database to determine if collections contain material of interest to you, and learn where collections are located.

EmoryFindingAids provides:

Archival Collection Finding Aids

Manuscript Collection and Finding Aid

Subject Guide

Emory Libraries Archives

Archives in Georgia