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The University of Manitoba campuses are located on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the M├ętis Nation. More

Graduate Help - All Text: Specialized Sources

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Searching MSpace

Searching the Archives

Finding Maps

Finding Primary Sources

Searching MSpace

This tutorial will teach you how to search MSpace at using three methods: the Search box, the Discover Box and browsing by Community. 

When you visit MSpace, you should see a grey bar with a search box that has “Search All MSpace” in it. You can enter any terms here: author, title, full text, subject, date issued, graduation date, department, degree, or exam committee members.

If you enter a search term, you’ll get a list of results. If you look at the Search dropdown menu, you’ll see that you can narrow your results by running the search again in a particular section of MSpace. By default, your first search is in all of MSpace. If you see a section that seems applicable, go ahead and choose it and click the magnifying glass to search again. 

You can also limit your search by adding filters. Click on “Add filters” to bring up a dropdown menu of options to refine your search results. You can choose from: title, author, subject, date issued, graduation date, department, degree, or exam committee members. 

Once you’ve chosen an option, use the second dropdown menu to select from: contains, equals, ID, not contains, not equals and not ID.

Finally, enter in a term or number that you want to find, or don’t want to find, and click apply. 

If you see a file in the results list that looks interesting, click on it, and you’ll see a page describing the item in detail. To see the file in the item, click View/Open beside the file name.

You can also search MSpace using the Discover box on the left side of the main page. The Discover box presents three categories of items: Author, Subject, and Date Issued. If you see a term that suits you, go ahead and click it for a list of results.

If none of the authors or subjects fit your search, you can click on the “View More” links beneath the lists. This will take you to an alphabetical list of authors or subjects that you can either page through, jump to the first letter, or search by a “starts with” search. 

The third way you can search is by selecting a Community. The main page shows all of the communities within MSpace. Select one of them to see a page with a search box that will give you results only from that specific community. 

Searching the Archives

The University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections has a wide variety of collections including private and institutional records.

To help you navigate through these collections we have online finding aids for both private and university records. A finding aid is a description of the records included in a given collection. It describes the content and arrangement of the collection, and provides information on the creator of the records. The finding aid will also let you know what material can or cannot be accessed.

For some collections, more details can be found under the “Finding aid” section by following the link beginning with UA – which signifies that the finding aid describes University records.

Here, you will find information to help you locate what you’re interested in. For example, Reunion and Homecoming Programs for the Faculty of Agriculture can be found in box three, folder one in the Faculty of Agriculture fonds.

Finding aids for private records provide similar information on records donated by individuals and organizations outside of the University.

Some finding aids will display differently but they provide similar information on the collection and its contents.

Some descriptions include multiple links under “Finding Aids” The alpha-numeric designation at the beginning of the link provides information on what type of records are described in the finding aid. An MSS number designates a private records collection. EL numbers describe electronic records. TC numbers describe audio-visual material, Mff numbers describe Microfilm or Microfiche. MC numbers describe items stored in our map cabinets. And PC numbers describe photographs, negatives and slides. 

Each link will provide you with a description of the folders in each box.

Some Finding Aids will provide you with more tools to navigate the collection. 

For example, the Winnipeg Tribune Finding aid provides a link to a webpage where you can access digitized editions of the Tribune, and news clippings and photographs from the paper.

If you need further assistance, or if you would like to access records described in our finding aids, our staff can help you find the records relevant to your research. Any information you can provide on the collection, including box and folder numbers, will help us retrieve the records of interest. Or, visit our digital archives and see if the material you are looking for is available online.

Finding Maps

The UM Libraries have a collection of thousands of maps, housed in Elizabeth Dafoe Library. They’re stored in map cabinets, all along the hallway opposite the group study rooms. 

The maps aren’t catalogued, so you can’t search for them in One Stop Search. Instead, use the map indexes and drawer labels to find what you want.

You’ll find maps of Canada in two sizes, maps of Winnipeg and Manitoba, the World, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the US, among others. 

Along the tops of the map cabinets, you’ll see the Canadian map indexes. They’re maps of Canada in a small format. You can use them to pinpoint a particular spot in the country. Once you do that, you then use the particular letters and numbers to refer to a specific map. Pulling the map out of the drawer will reveal a map of the particular spot in great detail. 

The rest of the map collection is organized by broad headings. These maps, while detailed, don’t go into such fine detail as the Canadian maps. Simply find the state or country that you’re looking for using the drawer labels. When you find the right drawer, open it and take out the appropriate map.  

You can scan or photocopy the maps in the library. Once you’re done with the maps, just leave them out. Library staff will put them back in the right spot for the next user. 

Finding Primary Sources

The University of Manitoba Libraries has a new online guide for students searching for primary sources

You can access the Primary Sources guide from the subject guides button on the main page. In the search bar you can type 'Primary Source Collections" to open up the main page. 

There you will find 6 links to information on how to access a wide range of historical materials available at UofM Libraries, Archives & Special Collections, and many digital archives around the world. 

The Digital Collections page has links to several searchable databases. Many rare documents and out of print books can be found at the Center for Research Libraries, the Internet Archive and Hathi Trust. These are great places to start your research. The databases listed below contain documents related to specific regions and historical periods. You can scroll over the database titles for a brief description of their contents. 

Extensive collections of primary sources are also available in microform at Elizabeth Dafoe Library. These include several long runs of historical newspapers and periodicals that can be browsed and searched using digital scanners in the library. 

Additional collections of newspapers and historical magazines are available in either print or digital formats. 

If you are looking for Canadian, American, European and other international government documents see the libraries guide for Government Publications

And you are welcome to visit the Archives and Special collections where you can search thousands of primary sources related to Manitoban, Western Canadian and Indigenous History, as well as other rare items not found in other libraries and archives.

If you need any assistance with searching for primary sources, a librarian or archivist will be happy to help you.