User Interactions With Electronic Finding Aids in a Controlled Setting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article presents findings from a study conducted to measure and describe interactions with on-line archival finding aids. The study measured responses for participants interacting with four collection-level search systems and four individual finding aids. Both statistical and qualitative findings are provided and correlated to demographic data such as archival experience and self-reported computer expertise. The study provides insights into how users navigate archival descriptive information and how archivists and digital librarians might design interfaces that facilitate efficient search strategies. Experienced archival users and novices utilize different methods of searching for archival information. Interface elements such as alphabetical lists, page-top tables of contents, and single-page search options enabled both expert and novice users to conduct more efficient searches than did alternate designs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-268
Number of pages35
JournalAmerican Archivist
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Library and Information Sciences


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