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Mayo History--Find Original Archival Sources using MAX (Mayo Archives Xplorer): Home

Find original, primary materials (photographs, documents, films, etc.) about Mayo History

The Mayo Archives Xplorer -- MAX

This guide will show you how to search for Mayo Clinic photographs, documents, films, reports and other original historical materials using the Mayo Archives Xplorer (MAX). MAX is the online catalog for the collections in the W. Bruce Fye Center for the History of Medicine Mayo Clinic Archives. Collection materials date from the mid-1800s to the present. 


  • A majority of collections exist in hard copy only. A small but increasing number of MAX records include digital copies of item/s described in a record.

  • Use of most collection materials still requires a scheduled visit to the Archives

  • Research visits are by appointment only. Some collections are stored off-site and require extra time to retrieve; visitors should allow 72 hours advance notice to ensure that their requested materials will be available for use. Researchers not employed by the Mayo Clinic should submit written requests for permission to use collection materials.



  1. Navigating to MAX can be done in several ways:
    1. For Mayo Intranet Users (Mayo campus computers and VPN users only)--link to MAX:
    2. Go to the Fye Center Home page and use the link in the left side bar:
    3. Use the Library Locations and Contact page: to go the Fye Center home page
    4. For external researchers who are not Mayo employees (i.e., those without a Mayo campus computer or VPN access)--link to the external version of MAX (see 2b. below):


  1. There are two versions of MAX

    1. The Internal version has all of the linked digital files (images, pdfs, etc.)
    2. The External version does not show any linked files per Mayo IT Security requirements


  1. “Search Collections” --  “Quick Search” tab

    1. The default for most searching
    2. Returns hits from all cataloged archival collections
    3. For “Search Collections” --  “Advanced Search” tab information, see number 9 (below)


  1. Enter Search” –  Use for all searches (keywords, phrases, names, dates, etc.); functions similarly to Google

    1. Recommend adding an asterisk after single words, it will retrieve more hits. It will also truncate:  examin* will retrieve examine, examination, etc.
    2. Ignore the system “Rank” on your hits


  1. If you choose to “Limit to Mayovox issues” and/or “Saint Marys News Bulletin issues”

    1. See instructions and tips here:
    2. These publications are the best way to find information about Mayo Clinic history and staff—both consultants and allied health—1942 to 1990
    3. Finds printable pdfs  [unless accessed from a non-Mayo computer or one without Mayo VPN]


  1. Browse Collections” –  An alphabetical list of cataloged collections; click on a letter for collections available under each


  1. Browse Subjects” –  A list created from all of the topical terms listed in MAX
    1. Because Mayovox was indexed over time by keyword, this is not a controlled vocabulary list
    2. To browse ahead in the alphabet, type the first character or characters of the term for which you are searching into the “Show Terms Near” field, then use the “Page Up” and “Page Down” buttons
    3. Some names are also included as subjects in this list


  1. Browse Creators” – a list created from all personal and corporate names listed in MAX
    1. Because of the Mayovox index this is not a controlled vocabulary list; try looking for different forms and spellings of names and nicknames, plus maiden names for women
    2. Names of some Mayo departments, divisions and sections have changed over time; look for variations based on function
    3. To browse ahead in the alphabet, type the first character or characters of the name for which you are searching into the “Show Terms Near” field, then use the “Page Up” and “Page Down” buttons


  1. “Search Collections” --  “Advanced Search” tab
    1. Example Advanced search

Operat* retrieves “Operating”, “Operation”, etc., limited to records with digital files attached when the “Items Linked to Electronic Resources (e.g., Images)” box is checked:


    1. Example of results for search Operat* limited to records with digital files attached:



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                                                                                                         Dr. Charlie, c.1925