Aeon: Requesting Archival Materials

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Aeon

What is Aeon?

Aeon allows researchers to submit requests for items in the Special Collections Department, the Cuban Heritage Collection, the University Archives, and the Architecture Library. Researchers will now be able to register and manage personal information and track requests from any computer using the Aeon system. Previously, registration and requests were done manually, while on-site.

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How will Aeon help make research easier in special collections?

Once researchers are registered, special collections' staff will be able to approve requests and retrieve materials more efficiently. Researchers can watch the progress of each request to determine if an item has been retrieved, put on hold, or returned to storage. Researchers can also store all request information in their profile for future review of citation information regarding materials consulted in special collections.

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Will researchers be able to request special collections manuscripts, books and periodicals using Aeon?

Yes. Books and periodicals housed in special collections are found by searching uSearch, the University of Miami Libraries’ online catalog. If an item in the catalog is located in special collections, the record in uSearch will display an option to "Request This Item Via Aeon."

Manuscripts and archives can be found through special collections online Finding Aids. Once you find the Manuscript and Archival collection you are looking for in the database, you can request materials from individual collections via a "Request Button".

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Will professors be able to request materials for their students to use for class projects?

Yes. Professors can set up class visits as "Events" within their Aeon accounts. Materials to be used during class visits can be managed separately from the professors’ personal research requests. The history of materials requested for a class can be stored and viewed for future use.

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Why do I need a username and password to use Aeon?

Your username and password allows us to give you secure access to information about your requests. We can also enable you to edit your personal information such as your address or phone number.

Your username can be anything you like, such as your name, abbreviations, or an alphanumeric code. Your password also can be anything you like. We recommend that you follow good security practice and choose a password that is different from those you use to access other systems. However, no one but you will know your password, not even the special collections staff. The password you set is stored encrypted.

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What if I forget my password?

From the Aeon logon page, click on "Forgot Password". On the Forgot Password page enter your username, and then click "Reset Password". An email with a link will be sent to the email address you used when registering on Aeon. By clicking on the link in the email, you can reset your password. If you need help, please contact the Special Collections Department at (305) 284-3247 or e-mail to

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What Web browser should I use?

You need a Web browser that can handle forms, tables, and preferrably cascading style sheets (CSS). We recommend the current versions of either Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.

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Is security a problem if I use a public workstation?

Yes. Web browsers cache information and create a history file on the local workstation. This allows a subsequent user of the workstation to access the system under your name using the browser's Back button to recall a page from the cache, or by finding a page with your personal information in the browser's history file. If you are concerned about the security of your requests, you can take the following steps:

  • Access Aeon only from your personal computer or an otherwise secure workstation.
  • Access Aeon from a public workstation in the Special Collections office. These computers are supervised by the staff.
  • When using a public access workstation:
    1. Exit from the Web browser before you leave the workstation. This prevents the Back button from accessing the pages you were using.

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Why does my browser say that you're sending a cookie? What's in it?

The technology that we use sends a Session ID to be stored on your machine. You can refuse this cookie and still be able to use Aeon without any problems.

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Will researchers still receive personalized attention in special collections?

Researchers will continue to be greeted by special collections staff ready and willing to orient them to reading room procedures, assist with their research needs, and assist in the Aeon registration process. Researchers coming to a reading room for the first time can register with Aeon on-site. Since special collections materials are for room use only and cannot be checked out, researchers will still be required to visit special collections to use materials.

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Will researchers still be able to request photocopies and/or scans of special collections materials?

Yes. At this time, researchers can still submit requests for photocopies and scans by filling out manual paperwork. However, the Aeon system will soon accommodate these types of requests on-line as well.

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Will all special collections researchers need to use Aeon, and why?

Yes. Ultimately, Aeon will increase efficiency for storing, tracking, and fulfilling research services requests in special collections. Aeon will assist in the analysis of requests, compile statistics, and increase effective retrieval and return of materials from storage areas. Aeon will also allow researchers to have control of their personal information and allow them access the history of requests at their fingertips. This increased functionality will improve our understanding of patron needs and allow staff to further anticipate ways to facilitate research services more creatively and effectively.

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Who created the Aeon system?

Atlas Systems, the same company that produced ILLiad, the University of Miami Libraries' Interlibrary Loan System, also produced Aeon. ILLiad is used by over 1,000 institutions worldwide. The University of Miami Libraries is one of the first in the nation to implement Aeon in their special collections. Please see the link below for more information about Atlas and Aeon:

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Who do I contact if I have problems with or questions about Aeon?

System Problems or Questions: Special Collections Department at (305) 284-3247 or e-mail to

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