About EmpireADC

New York State’s cultural, historical and educational institutions are home to archival, special and historical collections that document a wide range of topics, people and organizations. Collections range in size from one item to many boxes of items. EmpireADC brings together descriptions of these collections - called “finding aids” - to connect you with the resources you need and the organizations that have them.

What is a finding aid?
A finding aid provides information about a collection’s creation, context, size, topics and materials. This information can assist you in determining if a collection will help you with your research. A finding aid also tells you what organization has the collection, how to contact that organization and how you can access and use the collection.

How do I search the finding aids?
You may search all the finding aids at once from the Home page, the Repositories page and the Finding Aids page. The Repositories and Finding Aids pages allow you to limit your search to collection titles or the subjects, names and places associated with collections. Browsing the list of contributing repositories allows you to navigate to a single organization where you can search only their finding aids. When you are viewing a finding aid, use the search box to search within that finding aid.

Does EmpireADC include digital versions of collection items (photographs, documents, etc.)?
No. EmpireADC is a repository of finding aids. You will discover descriptions of collections and collection items, but not the items themselves. Some finding aids include links to online representations of collection items. If you are interested in exploring digital collections, please visit New York Heritage, another service of the Empire State Library Network and partner organizations.

What should I do if I want to learn more about a collection or if I want to see the materials?
Click the Access tab when viewing a finding aid. There you will find contact information and other information you need to know about accessing and using the collection.


Project History 
Standards & Technology


If you represent an organization interested in contributing finding aids to EmpireADC, please visit our Participate page.