Terms used in the archive catalogue:

Short for reference number. Each entry on the archive catalogue has a unique reference number (e.g. GUA/6/9/1/1). You will need this number if you wish to consult or cite a document.

The name of the catalogue entry
(e.g. Observer board records, minute book).

The date(s) of creation of the archive material.

The level of arrangement of the unit of description. Each entry will include one of the following terms:

Collection - this is the highest level of description, which represents an entire archive collection, for example the records created or received by an organisation or individual

Section, Sub-section - these are lower levels within the hierarchy of the catalogue which represent, for example, the departmental structure of an organisation, or the subject arrangement of the papers of an individual.

Series, Sub-series - these are the levels where, for example, runs of minutes, series of files etc are described.

Item - this usually represents the lowest level of description of material in a collection and is used for describing, for example, an individual minute book, diary, photograph album, or file of correspondence. This is usually the level at which documents can be requested for research.

Piece - occasionally, this level is used where, for example, an individual letter or photographic print is being described.

Information about the quantity of material which is being described (e.g. 2 boxes, 1 volume, 14 files).

Any subject terms, taken from the UK Archival Thesaurus used to describe the catalogue record.

Information about the ordering of records e.g. an alphabetical or chronological arrangement or an explanation of a system of classification.

Details of any access restrictions on the material.

 An image of the document (or a document from the file or collection, or a photograph of the individual associated with the record).

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