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Using MIT ArchivesSpace: Navigating MIT ArchivesSpace

A Web interface for MIT ArchivesSpace, the archives collections management system used by the Libraries' Distinctive Collections and the Aga Khan Documentation Center.

Browsing Bar

You can browse the collections in MIT ArchivesSpace, starting with the browsing bar at the top of the page.


The Browsing Bar features six tabs.

  • Home - Clicking this will take you to the MIT ArchivesSpace home page.
  • Collections - This tab is where you will find each of our collections.
  • Digital Materials - Clicking this tab will show you all the digital objects available online.
  • Subjects - This tab allows you to browse through a list of subjects that the records in our collections and records have been tagged with.
  • Names - This tab allows you to browse a list of names that are listed in our collections and records.  Some names are names of people, while others are names of organizations. 
  • Search - The magnifying glass takes you to a new page, where you can enter specific search terms.


Browsing in MIT ArchivesSpace

By clicking on Collections, you will be taken to a new page listing all collections in alphabetical order. 

You will see a drop down box, listing options for sorting collection results.

  • Relevance
  • Title (ascending) - default
  • Title (descending)
  • Year (ascending)
  • Year (descending)

On the right side of the screen, you will see options to further filter the results. This can be done by searching for something within the results or by clicking on an additional filter, such as by repositorysubjects, or names.



Viewing a collection record

A collection page has different parts of the finding aid displayed. This can include:

  • series
  • boxes
  • folders
  • items


Viewing a folder or item record

Similarly at the folder or item level, information from the finding aid is displayed. When using MIT ArchivesSpace, your search results may direct you to a specific folder or item. To understand that folder or item better, look at the directory information that tells you what collection, series (if applicable), and box your search result came from.


Questions? Comments?

Please contact Ask Distinctive Collections! for help finding collection material and to make appointments to access material.

To suggest corrections or report errors, email us at

We respond to questions Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm.