- Archives & Special CollectionsArchives & Special Collections
- Access and Use
- Collection Development Policy
- General Information and Hours
- Holdings and Finding Aids
- Bowles-Hoar Family Papers
- College Architecture
- Emily Dickinson at Amherst College
- Fraternities at Amherst
- Lord Jeffery Amherst and Amherst College
- Robert Frost at Amherst College
- The Kim-Wait/Eisenberg Native American Literature Collection
- Theses Collection
- Rare Book Holdings
- Digital Collections
- Subject Guides
- Soffer Ornithology Collection
- Lane Research Fellowships for Creative Artists
- Records Management
Have a citation? Check our holdings in the box above
Starting your search for articles? Use the Databases tab.
Find images, texts, videos, and more from the Archives & Special Collections and Art & Architecture Collection.
Be sure to log in with your Amherst username and password to see your search results.
Searching for Manuscript and Archival Material in the Five College Catalog
Descriptions of most of our collections are in the Five College online catalog. They provide a brief overview of each collection and are searchable by name, subject, or keyword. Note that many of our records in the online catalog include links to a more detailed inventory (finding aid) available in the Five College Archives and Manuscripts online database (available soon). If the finding aid is not online, you may obtain a print version from the Archives & Special Collections (Level A, Frost; email form ); an additional set of finding aids is also available in the Frost Library Reference Department (Level 1, Frost; e-mail form).
- Author search:
The author of a collection is the name of the creator of the collection, whether an individual, family, or organization (example: Enter Hitchcock, Edward as author for the Edward Hitchcock Papers).
- Author/Title search:
You can narrow your search by using the Author/Title search and entering the appropriate term as the title (example: Hitchcock/Papers). The most common terms used in the titles of archival and manuscript collections are:
- Use Subject to search for topics, personal names, organizational names, or place names represented in collections.
A Subject search will only search the Library of Congress subject headings listed in the catalog record (example: Missionaries -- Lebanon). It is more likely to pinpoint those collections that are pertinent to your topic as these are specific terms selected to highlight the most significant topics relevant to the collection.
- Keyword will also allow you to search for topics, personal names, organizational names, or place names represented in collections. It searches all text fields including descriptive notes. Generally, a Keyword search will yield more results than a Subject search; however, a Keyword search may not always produce satisfactory results, as it is a more general search.
One advantage of a Keyword search is that you can limit your search to "Archival Material" and "Location" on the initial search form. (For other kinds of searches, limiting can only be done after the initial results are returned. See "Limiting your Search to Archival Material" below.)
- Use Genre to search for particular types of documents. The most commonly used genres in archival and manuscript collections are:
Note that Genre terms are not always used by all of the Five College archives.
- Limiting Your Search to Archival Material:
Once your search results are displayed, click "Limit/sort" at the top of the screen and select: "Archival material."
(For more information on this limit, see also the section on Keyword searching, above.)
- Limiting Your Search by Institution:
Once your search results are displayed, click "Limit/sort" at the top of the screen and under "WHERE Item is located" select: "Amherst."
If you don't find what you're looking for, that doesn't necessarily mean we don't have it!
Ask a Reference Librarian or Archivist for assistance or contact us via email at: archives