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Establishing Intellectual Control in Archives
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  1. Establishing Intellectual Control in Archives Mark Vopelak, CA Indiana State Library

  2. Intellectual Control The creation of tools such as catalogs, finding aids, inventories, or other guides that enable researchers to locate materials relevant to their needs

  3. Records of an organization Controlled by policy or law Well organized retention and disposition schedule Most archive collections have manuscripts Records of an individual Controlled by wishes of donor (will) Deed of Gift-if you don’t have one it isn’t yours Most manuscript collections have archival material Archives vs. Manuscripts

  4. French Revolution 1789-1799

  5. Legacy of French Revolution • Records are no longer the personal property of the King • Citizens own the records. For the first time we have the concept of a “public record.” • Records are accessible and as a citizen you have the right to view the records • The state acknowledges documentary care of past • Creation of the Archives National in 1789

  6. Archives National

  7. Two important principles • Provenance • Original Order

  8. Respect des fonds or Principe de Provenance • Wherever possible, records are arranged and filed in the order they were originally created, maintained, and used, not according to any artificial or arbitrary arrangement

  9. Fond • The entire body of records of an organization, family, or individual that have been created and accumulated as the result of an organic process reflecting the functions of the creator

  10. Original Order • The archivist preserves and uses the arrangement given the records by the agency that created them on the theory that the initial arrangement had a logic and meaning to the originating agency

  11. Arrangement • The process of organizing materials with respect to their provenance and original order in order to protect their context and to achieve physical or intellectual control over the materials

  12. Oliver W. Holmes 5 levels of Arrangement • Depository Level • Record Group • Series Level • File Unit • Document Level

  13. Depository Level • Highest hierarchical level corresponds to the European fond level

  14. Record Group • A collection of records that share the same provenance and are of a convenient size for administration

  15. Series Level • A group of similar records that are arranged according to a filing system and that are related as the result of being created, received, or used in the same activity

  16. File Unit • A group of related documents treated as a single item for purposes of classification, storage, and retrieval

  17. Document Level • The narrowest arrangement within a file folder. A single unit

  18. Description • The process of creating a finding aid or other access tools that allow individuals to browse a surrogate of the collection to facilitate access and improve security by creating a record of the collection and by minimizing the amount of handling of the original materials

  19. Finding Aids • A single document that places the materials in context by consolidating information about the collection, such as acquisition and processing, provenance, administrative history or biographical note, scope of the collection, including size, subjects, media, organization and arrangement and an inventory of the series and the folders.

  20. Inventory

  21. Collection Guide

  22. The End