Listed here are digital collections of documents that do not fit into any of the traditional categories of library resources. In some cases these collections are mixtures of document types (some books, some periodical issues, some newspaper clippings); in other cases they are digital collections of unpublished sources, typically found in archives. In fact many of these collections are simply digitized archival collections, and are organized like archival collections. Some knowledge of archival organization will therefore be helpful to you in using these collections.
You can find more digital collections by using our Digital Collections Guide:
Archives are organized differently from libraries. Unlike library collections, which are organized by subject, archival collections are organized by provenance (where they came from). To whatever extent possible, the archive will also attempt keep the documents in the same order they were at the time of their creation, or the time of their accession into the archive.
To find items in archives, researchers use finding aids. Finding aids can describe archival collections at different levels of granularity (which depends largely on the ability of archives personnel to process these large collections). A detailed finding aid can describe an archival collection down to the box, folder, or even item level.
The finding aids for archival collections held by the University of Illinois Library are searchable: