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Glossary



As well as detailed descriptions of individual documents, the online catalogue also includes descriptions of entire collections. Archives are usually arranged in collections and then sub-divided if needed into 'series', 'subseries', ‘file’ and 'item'.

Level

This is the archival term for where the record can be found in the catalogue structure. The levels most currently used in the catalogue are listed below:

Collection

The whole of the collection, organically created and/or accumulated and used by a particular person, family, or corporate body in the course of that creator's activities and functions. The collection level provides an overview and a summary of the contents of the archive collection.

Series

A series of records within the collection, e.g. the papers, books or photographs of Rudolf Laban.

Subseries

A smaller, cohesive subset of a series and are used to break series down into smaller logical units.

File

A group of related records within the series or subseries, e.g. in the Natural Movement Archive correspondence is split into files, by subject and/or date.

Item

The smallest intellectually indivisible archival unit within the series or subseries, e.g. a single letter or photograph.

Ref No

This is the reference of the document. You will need to state the Reference Number listed at file or item level in order to view the document. Refer to the FAQs section of this web site for details of how to visit the archive.

Extent

This field provides information about the quantity of material which is being described (e.g. 2 boxes, 1 volume).

Physical description

This field provides relevant information about any important physical characteristics which might affect a record’s use (e.g. size, fragility).
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