Archival cataloging using ISAD-G


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lecture presented at the Seminar-Workshop on the theme “Organizing and Digitizing Library Archival Materials: ISAD (G) and Technology” organized by the Philippine Librarians Association, Inc. – Western Visayas Region Librarians Council (PLAI-WVRLC) in coordination with the National Committee for Libraries and Information Services – National Commission for Culture and The Arts (NCLIS-NCCA) held at the Colegio de San Agustin—Bacolod, Bacolod City, 27 September 2012.

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Archival cataloging using ISAD-G

  1. 1. Archival Cataloging using ISAD (G) by Fe Angela M. Verzosa famverzosa@yahoo.comSeminar-Workshop on Organizing and Digitizing Library Archival Materials: ISAD (G) and Technology September 27-28, 2012 Colegio de San Agustin, Bacolod City
  2. 2. What are archival collections? Collections of archival records, manuscripts and personal papers are distinct groupings of records defined by format, content and creating agency. Generically, we will refer to all collections of enduring value as “archival collections.” However, it is important to understand the differences between records, collections and papers as these differences may manifest during the arrangement, description and cataloging processes. Fe Angela M. Verzosa 2
  3. 3. Types of archival collections archival records generally are groups of documents created by organizations or institutions that are kept because they have enduring ‘long-term value’. “Personal Papers” are collections of documents created by individuals or families. “organic collections” refer to groups of documents or records that grew naturally as the result of the record creator’s activities. They include the letters, reports, and other documents that a person or organization accumulates and files as they go about their business Fe Angela M. Verzosa 3
  4. 4. What are ‘manuscript’ collections? “Collection” generally means an artificial assemblage of documents accumulated on the basis of some common characteristic without regard to the provenance of those documents. Oftentimes called “Artificial Collections” or “Assembled Collections” to refer to groups of individual documents that were created by different persons or organizations, and assembled later from multiple sources. The documents bear no organic relationship to each other. E.g.Single pieces of handwritten documentsLiterary RemainsCollections of EventsRecords of an organization collected and brought into the archives or library for research
  5. 5. Arrangement the most important step in managing an archival or manuscript collection. “Arrangement is the process by which a collection of any size is brought under both intellectual and physical control.” “Arrangement is the intellectual and physical processes and results of analyzing and organizing documents in accordance with archival principles.” Effective cataloging and access is possible only if a collection has been arranged. Fe Angela M. Verzosa 5
  6. 6. Principles in arrangement Provenance- refers to the individual, group/ office, or organization that created the records. Also known as office of origin, or source Principle of provenance: ~the records of one organization or individual remain together. They must never be mixed with the records of another organization or individual.Also relates to the chain of custody or ownership of a collection. Fe Angela M. Verzosa 6
  7. 7. Principles in arrangementPrinciple of Original order – or Respect de lordre primitif in French, Registratorprinzip in German, refers to the original order of arrangement“records are to be maintained in records/archivesrepositories in the same scheme of order and with thesame designations they received in the course of thebusiness of their office of origin and primary use. “Emphasis is to maintain the “original order”, the way in whichthe records were originally organized and filed. If no discernible order,or it is impossible to re-establish the original order, then use commonsense, ordinary logic, and a basic familiarity with archivalprinciples to impose a new order. M. Verzosa Fe Angela 7
  8. 8. Fe Angela M. Verzosa 8
  9. 9. 5 Levels of Arrangement Fonds or record group ~ the whole of the records, regardless of form or medium, organically created and/or accumulated and used by a particular person, family, or corporate body in the course of that creators activities and functions.e.g. Papers of J. P. Laurel, Adams Family Papers, Records of the Board of Trustees of DLSU Sub-Fonds - Subordinate administrative unit under the fonds or record group Series ~the basic unit which refers to a set of documents resulting from the same function or activity, or having a common form or relationship arising from their creation, receipt or use.e.g. Election Campaign Materials, Land Cases, Speeches, Diaries, Correspondences, Scrapbooks 9 Fe Angela M. Verzosa
  10. 10. 5 Levels of Arrangement File ~ an organized unit of documents grouped together either for current use by the creator or in the process of archival arrangement, because they relate to the same subject, activity, or transaction. A file is usually the basic unit within a series.e.g. Presidential Election 1949, Senatorial Election 1953, Senatorial Election 1957 Item ~ the smallest intellectually indivisible archival unit, a single document or recorde.g., a letter, memorandum, report, photograph, sound recording. Fe Angela M. Verzosa 10
  11. 11. 5 Levels of arrangement Subordinate administrative unit under the fonds or Fonds or record group Record group Sub-group Sub-group Sub-group Series Series Series File Sub-seriesBasic unit which refers to a set ofdocuments resulting from the same Item Filefunction or activity, or having acommon form or relationship arising itemfrom their creation, receipt or use. Fe Angela M. Verzosa 11
  12. 12. 5 Levels of arrangementFonds Board of TrusteesSub-Fonds Committees Secretariat AdvisorsSeries Minutes of Correspondence Reports Meetings(Sub-series) President/ChancellorFile 1990-1995 Annual reportsItem Letter from Fe Angela M. Verzosa 2011 12 Pres. Luistro
  13. 13. 5 Levels of arrangement Jose P. Laurel Papers Pre-Presidential Presidential Senatorial Circulars Campaign Speeches and Correspondence Material addresses Incoming letters Outgoing letters Benigno Aquino Sr.Letter requesting release of funds, M.31 March 1944 Fe Angela Verzosa 13
  14. 14. Proper arrangementDuring analysis of records, determine if “organic”, functional record series exist (e.g. correspondence, research notes, project files, organizational reports, publications, etc.)Identify arrangement schemes used in thepast : alphabetical, chronological, numeric… If more than one arrangement scheme, choose the most logical, most recent, etc. Fe Angela M. Verzosa 14
  15. 15. Series are grouped based on one or more ofthe following elements: physical type of document ~ such as journals, account books, photographs, clippings subject matter or function or activity ~ such as election campaign, legal cases and decisions, Japanese Reparations, Laurel-Langley Treaty time frame ~ Presidential Campaign 1949, Presidential Campaign 1953, Pre-war Records source – such as Laurel – Recto Correspondence Series, Bureau of Insular Affairs Files, Supreme Court Files Fe Angela M. Verzosa 15
  16. 16. What is archival description?Archival description is “the process of capturing, collating, analyzing and organizing any information that serves to identify, manage, locate and interpret the holdings of an archival institution and explain the contexts and record systems from which these holdings were selected” (Definition from the Society of American Archivists)Description ~ “the process of establishing intellectual control over holdings of an archival institution through preparation of finding aids”(From: resources/terminology.html)Angela M. Verzosa Fe 16
  17. 17. Access tools or ‘finding aids’ inventories (description used for archival records; include preface, introduction, agency history, scope and content note, administrative information, colophon, series description, container listing) container and folder lists card catalogs databases guides (provide a summary or general description of the contents of an archival collection) calendars (refer to a chronological listing of documents in a collection) indexes registers (description M. Verzosa for personal papers) Fe Angela used 17
  18. 18. Sample Finding AidCollection SummaryTitle: Thomas Jefferson PapersSpan Dates: 1606-1943Bulk Dates: (bulk 1775-1826)ID No.: MSS27748Creator: Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826Extent: 25,000 items; 225 containers plus 9 oversize; 90 linear feet; 65microfilm reelsLanguage: Collection material in EnglishRepository: Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.Abstract: United States president, vice president, and secretary of state;diplomat, architect, inventor, planter, and philosopher. Correspondence,official statements and addresses, including a rough draft of theDeclaration of Independence, plantation and personal accounts,notebook, fee book, case book, garden book, farm book, calculations ofinterest, records of early Virginia lawsand history and other writings on political, legal, educational, and scientificmatters, newspaper clippings, and other papers. Fe Angela M. Verzosa 18
  19. 19. Fe Angela M. Verzosa 19
  20. 20. Collecting Data for a Finding Aid What is the name or title of the collection? Who created the material and for what purpose? What dates does it cover? How much material is there? What genres or formats are represented? How did it come into the repository’s control or possession? Who or what was the immediate source of the acquisition? Fe Angela M. Verzosa 20
  21. 21. Collecting Data for a Finding Aid Are there restrictions on access or reproduction? Has it been assigned a unique identiication number for tracking within the repository? What storage location will be used for the material? Have any materials been separated for transfer to other units in your repository? Fe Angela M. Verzosa 21
  22. 22. Developing standards in archival description In 1993 the International Council on Archives produced an International Standard for Archival Description [ISAD(G)] The second edition was adopted by the ICA Committee on Descriptive Standards at Stockholm, Sweden, 19- 22 September 1999 Published during the XIVth International Congress on Archives in Seville, Spain in September 2000. Fe Angela M. Verzosa 22
  23. 23. What is ISAD (G) ? A standard published by the International Council on Archives that establishes general rules for the description of archival materials, regardless of format, to promote consistent and sufficient descriptions, and to facilitate exchange and integration of those descriptions. It defines the elements that should be included in an archival finding aid.Source: Fe Angela M. Verzosa 23
  24. 24. Aims of ISAD(G) To define and control the structure of archive finding aids To define and control the content of archive finding aids Note: This standard provides general guidance for the preparation of archival descriptions. It is to be used in conjunction with existing national standards or as the basis for the development of national standards. Fe Angela M. Verzosa 24
  25. 25. Archival description is hierarchical and multi-levelin structure. That is, it must be made up of anumber of levels, and must follow the four rules ofmulti-level description. HIGHESTFonds Description of the whole archive level LEVEL Descriptions of Series component parts within level the archive Descriptions of smaller File component parts within level the archive Descriptions of each Item individual record within LOWEST level the archive LEVEL Fe Angela M. Verzosa 25
  26. 26. Fe Angela M. Verzosa 26
  27. 27. Define and control the structure… Rule 1 ~ From General to Specific “At the fonds level give information for the fonds as a whole. At the next and subsequent levels give information for the parts being described. Present the resulting descriptions in a hierarchical part-to-whole relationship proceeding from the broadest (fonds) to the more specific.” Purpose: To represent the context and the hierarchical structure of the fonds and its parts. Levels of description within finding aids should move from a general description of the archive as a whole at the highest level to a specific description of each individual ‘record’ or ‘item’ at the lowest level of description. Fe Angela M. Verzosa 27
  28. 28. Define and control the structure… Rule 2 ~ Information relevant at the level of description “Provide only such information as is appropriate to the level being described.” Purpose: To represent accurately the context and content of the unit of description. For example, do not provide detailed file content information if the unit of description is a fonds; do not provide an administrative history for an entire department if the creator of a unit of description is a division or a branch. Fe Angela M. Verzosa 28
  29. 29. Define and control the structure… Rule 3 ~ Linking of Descriptions “Link each description to its next higher unit of description, if applicable, and identify the level of description.” Purpose: To make explicit the position of the unit of description in the hierarchy. For example, do not provide detailed file content information if the unit of description is a fonds; do not provide an administrative history for an entire department if the creator of a unit of description is a division or a branch. Fe Angela M. Verzosa 29
  30. 30. Define and control the structure… Rule 4 ~ Non-repetition of information “At the highest appropriate level, give information that is common to the component parts. Do not repeat information at a lower level of description that has already been given at a higher level.” Purpose: To avoid redundancy of information in hierarchically related archival descriptions. For example, do not provide detailed file content information if the unit of description is a fonds. Do not repeat information at the item level that has already been provided at the collection or series level. Fe Angela M. Verzosa 30
  32. 32. Multi-level Description: First Level Describes the entire collection in a very general way. Provides overview of the types of material. Points out significant people and subjects represented. Provides provenance and access information. May include a biographical sketch or agency history and a scope and content note that describes the collection in its Fe Angela M. Verzosa 32 entirety.
  33. 33. Fe Angela M. Verzosa 33
  34. 34. Fe Angela M. Verzosa 34
  35. 35. Multi-level Description: Second Level Focuses on groupings of material within the collection. Describes each in more detail than done at the first level. Highlights more specific material types and additional individuals and subjects represented. May be represented in finding aid by narrative description of series or subseries within the whole. Fe Angela M. Verzosa 35
  36. 36. Longfellow Family Papers - Series Fe Angela M. Verzosa 36
  37. 37. Multi-level Description: Third LevelEach file or possiblyeach item, may bedescribed.Often takes the formof a container orfolder list.These lists explicitlylay out the intellectualhierarchy of thematerials Fe Angela M. Verzosa 37
  38. 38. Fe Angela M. Verzosa 38
  39. 39. Define and control the content ISAD(G) names 26 different ‘elements’ that archivists can use within their finding aids to record descriptive information These data elements are for use at any level of description. Fe Angela M. Verzosa 39
  40. 40. ISAD— 26 elements in seven areas:1. Identity Statement Area (information to identify the unit of description)2. Context Area (information about the origin and custody of the unit of description)3. Content and Structure Area (information about the subject matter and arrangement of the unit of description)4. Condition of Access and Use Area (information about the availability of the unit of description)5. Allied Materials Area (information about materials having an important relationship to the unit of description)6. Note Area (information that cannot be accommodated in any of the other areas.)7. Description Control Area (information on how, when and by whom the archival description was prepared) Fe Angela M. Verzosa 40
  41. 41. At collection level description Minimum ISAD(G) for collection level are: Reference Code (country code, repository code, local repository archive code, other associated numbers) Title Date of Creation of Material Level of description Extent Fe Angela M. Verzosa 41
  42. 42. 3.1 Identity statement area3.1.1 Reference code(s) ID No.: MSS277483.1.2 Title Thomas Jefferson Papers3.1.3 Date(s) Date(s) of creation Span Dates: 1606-1943 of the structure of u/d (bulk 1775-1826) Date(s) of contents of the unit of description Date of last input Date of last access3.1.4 Level of description Fonds3.1.5 Extent of the unit of 25,000 items; 225 containers plus 9 description (quantity, bulk, oversize; 90 linear feet; 65 or size) microfilm reels Fe Angela M. Verzosa 42
  43. 43. 3.1 Identity statement area3.1.1 Reference code(s) ID No.: MSS277483.1.2 Title General Correspondence and3.1.3 Date(s) Related Material, 1651-1827 Date(s) of creation of the structure of u/d Date(s) of contents 1651-1827 of the unit of description Date of last input Date of last access3.1.4 Level of description Series3.1.5 Extent of the unit of 57 microfilm reels description (quantity, bulk, or size) Fe Angela M. Verzosa 43
  44. 44. 3.1 Identity statement area3.1.1 Reference code(s) ID No.: MSS277483.1.2 Title Undated3.1.3 Date(s) Date(s) of creation of the structure of u/d 1651-1827 Date(s) of contents of the unit of description Date of last input Date of last access3.1.4 Level of description File3.1.5 Extent of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, 1 microfilm reel (Reel 56) or size) Fe Angela M. Verzosa 44
  45. 45. 3.2 Context Area3.2.1 Name of creator Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-18263.2.2 Administrative/ United States president, vice biographical history president, and secretary of state; diplomat, architect, inventor, planter, and philosopher.3.2.3 Archival history History of the Collection (if acquired directly from [From Index to the Thomas Jefferson creator, record the info in Papers (Washington, D.C.: 1976), pp. 3.2.4) vii-xvii]3.2.4 Immediate source Gift and purchase, from various sources, 1901-2000, and by transfer of acquisition or from the United States Department of transfer State in 1904. Fe Angela M. Verzosa 45
  46. 46. 3.3 Content and Structure Area3.3.1 Scope and content Correspondence, official statements and addresses, including a rough draft of the Declaration of Independence, plantation and personal accounts, notebook, fee book, case book, garden book, farm book, calculations of interest, records of early Virginia laws and history and other writings on political, legal, educational, and scientific matters, newspaper clippings, and other papers.3.3.2 Appraisal, For permanent preservation.destruction andscheduling information3.3.3 Accruals No accruals expected. Fe Angela M. Verzosa 46
  47. 47. 3.3.1 Scope and Content Elementmay include information about any or all of the following: the function(s), activity(ies), transaction(s), and process(es) that generated the materials being described the documentary form(s) or intellectual characteristics of the records being described (e.g. minutes, diaries, reports, account books, documentaries) the time period(s) covered by the intellectual content or subject of the unit being described geographic area(s) and places to which the records pertain subject matter to which the records pertain, such as topics, events, people, and organizations Fe Angela M. Verzosa 47
  48. 48. 3.3.4 System of Arrangement Specify the internal structure, order and/or system of classification of the unit of description This element must be completed for each level of description above the file unit level. At the collection level, this is the arrangement for the Jefferson Papers: Fe Angela M. Verzosa 48
  49. 49. At the series level, this is thearrangement for the Jefferson Papers: Fe Angela M. Verzosa 49
  50. 50. 3.4. Conditions Of Access and Use Area3.4.1 Conditions The Jefferson Papers aregoverning access open to research.3.4.2 Conditions on The status of copyright in thereproduction unpublished material in the collection is governed by the US Copyright Law.3.4.3 Language/ Collection material inscripts of material English3.4.4 Physical To promote preservation ofcharacteristics and originals, users are required to use the microfilm edition of thetechnical collection as availablerequirements3.4.5 Finding aids Fe Angela M. Verzosa 50
  51. 51. 3.5 Allied Materials Area3.5.1 Existence and Manuscript Division, Library oflocation of originals Congress, Washington, DC, USA3.5.2 Existence and Series 1-9 in 65 microfilm reels; onlinelocation of copies content is available in the Library of Congress website ( ons/jefferson_papers/ )3.5.3 Related units of See also The Jefferson Papers in thedescription University of Virginia Library’s Special Collections: Publication note Boyd, Julian P., et al, eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. Vols. 1-. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950- Fe Angela M. Verzosa 51
  52. 52. 3.6 Notes Area3.6.1 Note ~ to provide information that cannot be accommodated in any of the other areas. E.gAlso known under the title:Thomas Jefferson Papers at the Library of Congress (Fonds) Fe Angela M. Verzosa 52
  53. 53. 3.6 Notes AreaConsider making Notes about: Source of a transcribed title, if other than a title page Dates of: Publication or copyright appearing on a literary manuscript Delivery of a speech or other presentation Originals from which a copy was made Annotations Acquisition and assembly of bound collections Accompanying material Handwritings Unusual writing implements, writing surfaces, or bindings Fe Angela M. Verzosa 53
  54. 54. 3.7 Description Control Area3.7.1 Archivist’s Note Arranged and described by Manuscript Division staff, Library of Congress3.7.2 Rules orConventions Based on Rules for Archival Description (RAD)3.7.3 Date(s) of Finding aid encoded by theDescriptions Library of Congress Manuscript Division in 2009 Fe Angela M. Verzosa 54
  55. 55. Congratulations! We are done! Fe Angela M. Verzosa 55
  56. 56. Questions? Fe Angela M. Verzosa 56