Just How Do Archivists Describe Collections?

A web log about Peel’s historic records by staff at the spot of Peel Archives

Anybody doing research that is archival fundamentally are using archival explanations. Archival information are embodied in just what are frequently called “finding aids.” These are typically the archival world’s comparable to a catalogue entry in a collection catalogue.

Paper copies of choosing helps tend to be obtainable in the reading spaces of archives. Electronic versions may also be commonly available via archival databases (start to see the final end with this post).

Many people are knowledgeable about interpreting a collection catalogue entry (say in an online collection
database). Obtaining the many away from archival information, nevertheless, calls for a little fundamental orientation. Once you understand one thing concerning the ideas, terminology, and methods that archivists used to express the individuality and complexity of archives, you’ll be definitely better placed to get the material you may need making use of archival information.

In this post, we’ll stroll you through an archival description by dissecting a percentage of an adapted choosing help only at the Peel Archives; but, the language and recommendations we’ll pass on will serve you well in making use of archives as a whole.