Archival Intelligence: searching archive catalogues and finding aids.

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Archival Intelligence: searching archive catalogues and finding aids Slide 2 Who are the Archivally Intelligent? Expert users of archives can do research successfully within the systems and procedures of the archives. (National Archives UK blog, 2012) They understand archival concepts, such as provenance 2, and speak the language of archives, using words such as series 3 2 3 They can use catalogues, indexes and other finding aids 4 or search tools, both online and in paper form, to search for records. They can make the mental connections between their research topics, the finding aids and the records themselves 4 They understand the referencing system and cite references properlycite references properly They prepare thoroughly and carefully for research trips If the research path is difficult or complicated, they can persevere and keep going Following the reading room rules is second nature to themreading room rules When they visit different archives, or use different archives websites, they can pick up and adjust to variations in how things are done Above all, archivally intelligent users can form a research strategy and carry it through Slide 3 Slide 4 Archival Concepts Respect des fonds 19 th century French concept fonds were the surviving archives of a department (fonds) and are kept and retained as one entity. Records of different departments were not mixed together (e.g. records from different creators with the name of one place arent put together, or linked by subject think Dewey). Provenance The original creator of a record Chain of custody and use Records are kept and described so that this context is maintained and identified Original Order The order in which records are created and used. Internal and external links between records are retained and maintained. May be modified by custodians as the records are used, but no other order is imposed on them by the archives. Slide 5 Archival Description Speak the language Fonds (UK, US, Canada, Europe) Records Group (US, early Australian practice) Series (Australia Item, file, piece or folder Accession and consignment Function and activity See the American Society of Archivists glossary ( and the ICA glossary for more terms ( archival-terminology.html ). archival-terminology.html Slide 6 Archival Description Is hierarchical But also relational Basic description defined by International Standards ISAD (G) ISAAR/CPF Slide 7 Australian Series Registration system entities Context Entities Function Entities Function Activity Agency Entities Organisation Agency/ Person Context Entities Record Entities Record Series [WAS] Item Document [SRO Piece] ( ISAD/G) Function Entities Function Activity (ISDF) Agency Entities Organisation Agency/ Person [WAA] ISAAR (CPF) Slide 8 Slide 9 Using catalogues and Finding Aids The acid test NAA National Archives UK Slide 10 The State archives collection Archives: materials deemed to have long term cultural or historical value Archives created by WA Colonial, State and Local Governments since 1829 Mandatory transfer to SRO custody in accordance with the State Records Act 2000. Prior to that, transfer was optional. Slide 11 The State archives collection State Archives collection began 1945 Currently 15km in State Records Office custody Currently 50km in Agency custody Slide 12 Using catalogues and Finding Aids AEON New SROWA catalogue New SROWA catalogue (in development) Slide 13 Using catalogues and Finding Aids More terminology what is a Finding Aid? Descriptions of records that provide both users and archives staff with information about the records, providing physical and intellectual control over the records. AJCP handbook? Bugtool AN listingsChief Protector of Aborigines listing Information sheets Etc Ancestry database? The registers, indexes and control records produced by the creator of the records. CSO registers Divorce registers Dead names IndexProbate index Slide 14 Slide 15 Referencing material Referencing will depend on what you are doing University assignment Public report Journal article Book But each system has some fundamental rules Author/creator/responsible authority statement (ISAAR/CPF) Title Type of material Date range Where located (series, folder, item) Publisher, library or archive location information - WAS, cons, item (or vice versa), SROWA. Slide 16 Reading Room Rules Clean dry hands Handle things carefully Use supports Pencils No sticky markers Let the staff know if you find a damaged item (not immediately apparent when they hand it over) No food or drink No bags Slide 17 Now you are archivally intelligent But sometimes, you want some reassurance or extra help 08 9427 3600 Slide 18


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