The Art Institute of Chicago

Finding Aids: Beta Testing Explanatory Note

EAD Finding Aid Delivery, Beta Testing

Recent technological improvements now allow us to deliver our finding aids in their native electronic format, known as EAD. However, during this beta testing period, certain features in these EAD documents are not yet fully functional. We hope to resolve these issues in the near future. Despite these limitations, all finding aids remain viewable, searchable and printable. Please review the instructions below for more information. You may contact us at should you have difficulty accessing any of these finding aids.

Finding Aid Document Types

Throughout the beta testing phase there will be two types of finding aids found in this online collection: (old) PDF documents and (new) EAD documents. Eventually, all of the PDFs will be replaced with updated versions in EAD. Because these document types behave differently, users should first determine what type of document they wish to view. PDFs appear as a thumbmail of the first document page; EAD finding aids appear as a green "Finding Aid" graphic.

EAD Finding Aids

The default view of the EAD document displays only the "front matter," or summary and administrative information, of the finding aid. In order to view the complete finding aid, simply click on the 'Go' button to the right of the 'View' menu:

The full finding aid will open into a new window. From this window you may search the finding aid either by selecting the "Find" command from the "Edit" list in the browser menu or by using a "Control" or "Command" and "F" key combination. From this window you may also print the full document or any selection of pages.

Please note that several of the features in the lefthand sidebar are NOT yet fully functional.
These include:

  • the menu links:

  • and the search box:

PDF Finding Aids

These documents are, by default, viewed and searched through CONTENTdm's in-line Compound Object Viewer. You may also choose to download documents to your desktop and view and search them through Adobe Acrobat. Please note that the in-line Compound Object Viewer is currently not functional in Firefox. When using Firefox, documents will be automatically downloaded to your desktop (as page.pdf or index.pdf). These documents can then be viewed through Adobe Acrobat.


  • If you would like to view or download an entire PDF document rather than single pages then you can do so by using the 'View' drop-down menu that is located in the sidebar. As with the EAD documents, click on the 'Go' button to the right of the 'View' menu:

  • Full documents will be downloaded to your desktop as 'index.pdf'.


  • Selecting any PDF document from a results or browse page will take you to CONTENTdm's in-line Compound Object Viewer, which features a left-hand menu bar (see example below). You may navigate through the document by selecting from the page list or by using the 'Previous Page' and 'Next Page' links in the left-hand menu bar.

  • The default settings for PDF search results will return ONLY pages which feature the term that you searched for, and NOT the entire document.

  • The default settings for PDF browse results will return ONLY the FIRST page of the document that was requested, and NOT the entire document.

  • Pages which contain search term results will be highlighted red.

Browser Requirements

This site is best viewed with current versions of Internet Explorer or Safari. The in-line PDF viewer is currently not functional in Firefox.

Searchable Collections



Digital Collections Overview

Contact the Archives