Archival Terminology

To help preserve materials, it is important that they are cared for and stored in archival safe materials and kept in an environment with low humidity.  Manuscript collections have preservation needs, but visual materials (photographs, slides, postcards, and other ephemera have special preservation needs.

Processing materials means looking through the collection documents to be sure that we are keeping materials that are essential to research and disposing of scrap paper or other items that would have no value to the person that will use the collection for research purposes.  It’s very tedious and detailed work.

Arranging the collection means keeping it arranged as close to the author’s original order as possible, yet making it logical to the structural records of the business.

Describing the collection means showing the essentials of the collection in a written format that will allow a researcher to locate the box and folder that information will be in.