Here is a general approach for finding and using the various materials available in Special Collections.
A finding aid describes the arrangement and contents of a manuscript collection. While many of the Special Collections find aids are available online, not all of them are. In addition to reference works and research guides, finding aids are available in print format in the Special Collections Reading room.
Manuscript collections can vary in size from one folder or box of correspondence to large collections consisting of hundreds of boxes containing letters, unpublished writings, official documents, video, audio, and photographic materials, and personal collections of books and other published materials. Knowing what sorts of things are in a collection and where to find them is essential to successful research.
Lists on the Special Collections website describe collections with complete finding aids, or descriptions, online.You can search the available finding aids and descriptions alphabetically or by subject.