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.
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.