INFO 6800 (Winter 2013) Week Three Seminar Handout


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A handout for week three of INFO 6800 Archives (Winter 2013).

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INFO 6800 (Winter 2013) Week Three Seminar Handout

  1. 1. INFO 6800 Archives – January 21, 2013 Week Three – Arrangement and DescriptionObjectives 1. Understand the relationship between arrangement and description and the concept of respect des fonds 2. Introduce the Rules for Archival Description 3. Explore the challenges and implications of archival description 4. Become familiar with the structure and organization of archival finding aidsActivities: Seminar presentations and archival description exerciseRequired ReadingsCanadian Council of Archives. Rules for Archival Description: Statement of Principles.Ottawa: Canadian Council of Archives, 2008., Wendy and Marlene van Ballegooie. “Chapter 1.” In RAD Revealed: A BasicPrimer on the Rules for Archival Description. Ottawa: The Canadian Council ofArchives, 2001.Daines, J. Gordon and Cory L. Nimer. “Re-Imagining Archival Display: Creating User-Friendly Finding Aids. Journal of Archival Organization 9, 1 (2011): 4-31. DOI:10.1080/15332748.2011.574019.Milton, Lyn. “Chapter 8: Arrangement and Description.” In Keeping Archives, ThirdEdition, edited by Jackie Bettington, Kim Eberhard, Rowena Loo, and Clive Smith.Melbourne: The Australian Society of Archivists, 2008. Only read p. 252-273.Optional ReadingsMacNeil, Heather. “Trusting Description. Authenticity, Accountability, and ArchivalDescription Standards.” Journal of Archival Organization 7 (2009): 89-107. Doi:10.1080/15332740903117693.Meehan, Jennifer. “Making the Leap from Parts to Whole: Evidence and Inference inArchival Arrangement and Description.” American Archivist 72, no. 1 (Summer 2009):72-90. INFO 6800 Archives (Winter 2013) – Week Three Seminar | 1
  2. 2. Prepare for Discussion 1. The Rules for Archival Description (RAD) statement of principles states that one of the purposes of archival description is to “establish grounds for presuming the authenticity of archival material.” What are some of the ways RAD helps archivists achieve this purpose? What are some challenges associated with maintaining authenticity that are not addressed by RAD? 2. What are some of the actions made by an archivist that could affect the perceived authenticity of the records? How does RAD help archivists describe these actions? 3. What are some of the underlying assumptions of RAD that help link the principle of respect des fonds with the archival processes of arrangement and description? 4. What are some of the different kinds of finding aids that have been created by archivists? 5. What are the elements of a supplied title? What kinds of challenges do archivists face when creating supplied titles? 6. Consider the various kinds of formats found in archives (e.g., textual records, graphic materials, sound recordings, etc.) and their various requirements for access and use. What are some of the physical aspects of these materials that archivists must describe? What are aspects are optional? What are some of the factors that could impact how an archivist records physical description information? 7. What is the difference between a biographical sketch and an administrative history? What kind of information should be recorded here? 8. What is the purpose of the custodial history area? 9. What are some of the problems with traditional finding aids? What issues have been identified with online finding aids? 10. Consider the impact of technology on how users access information about archival and library collections, and the collections themselves. What should archivists do to encourage use of archival materials? INFO 6800 Archives (Winter 2013) – Week Three Seminar | 2
  3. 3. Archival DescriptionTitle proper [GMD] : other title information / [clarification] statement of responsibility*. –Edition statement*. – Class of material specific details. - Date(s) of creation, publication,distribution, etc. – Extent and specific material designation : other physical details ;dimensions + accompanying material*. – Publisher’s series*. – Administrativehistory/Biographical sketch. – Custodial history note. – Scope and content note. –Variations in title note. – Source of title proper note. – Parallel titles and other titleinformation note. – Continuation of title note. – Statement(s) of responsibility note. –Attributions and conjectures note. – Edition note. – Date(s) of creation, includingpublication, distribution, etc. note. – Date(s) of accumulation or collection. – Physicaldescription note. – Physical condition note. – Conservation note. – Accompanyingmaterial note. – Publisher’s series note*. – Alpha-numeric designations note. –Immediate source of acquisition note. – Arrangement note. – Language note. – Locationof originals note. – Availability of other formats note. – Restrictions on access note. –Rights note. – Terms governing use and reproduction. – Terms governing publication. –Finding aids. – Associated materials note. – Accruals note. – Related groups of recordsnote. – General note. – Standard number.*item-level only. INFO 6800 Archives (Winter 2013) – Week Three Seminar | 3