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Introduction to Archival Organization and Description
Introduction to Archival Organization and Description
Access to Cultural Heritage
Michael J. Fox and Peter L. Wilkerson
Edited by Suzanne R. Warren

Getty Research Institute
66 pages, 7 x 9 1/2 inches
ISBN 978-0-89236-545-6
paper, Out of Print  

"Useful for its provision of clear justification and definition of the various standards—indeed of standards in general—while a glossary and bibliography provide an excellent introduction to recent work, mainly in North America, on descriptive practices."
Journal of the Society of Archivists


Archival collections offer unique challenges to their custodians. Each collection is intimately tied to the people, time, actions, and events that generated the collection, and therefore needs to be examined, organized, and described individually. Yet archivists recognize the imperative to standardize their procedures for consistency, especially with the increasing use of networked electronic environments.

This book serves as an introduction to the common organizational and descriptive practices that have developed in response to the particular requirements of archival collections. It serves as an orientation to fundamental archival principles for beginning and novice archivists, and includes such topics as the characteristics of archival materials and how these shape practices, the gathering and analyses of information that goes into descriptions, types of finding aids, and the deployment of information systems. Also included are a glossary and a list of Web resources.

Michael J. Fox is an archivist at the Minnesota Historical Society. Peter L. Wilkerson is an archivist at the South Carolina Historical Society. Suzanne R. Warren is an independent consultant. She coordinated the vocabulary training for the Art & Architecture Thesaurus.

This book is out of print. Please check your local library and/or used bookstores.

Introduction to Archival Organization and Description on the Web

Series: Introduction To

See: Contents