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Collection: a distinct group of records that form a whole because they were generated by the same creator , for example a business or an individual.

Arrangement: the order in which the material in a collection has been arranged. In archive catalogues the items in a collection are arranged into a hierarchy of levels relating to their place within the collection.

Level: the place where a catalogue description/group of items can be found in the hierarchical structure of the catalogue. The terms used to described the various places in this hierarchy are as follows:

Collection level = the top-most level, for example the Lindsay Anderson Archive.

Sub collection level = a sub division of a collection created to reflect its administrative / organisational structure. For example the sub collections in the Lindsay Anderson Archive reflect his personal and working life and include films, television, theatre productions, working papers, personal material and memorabilia.

Series level = directly below collection/sub collection, for example material relating to a particular film or television programme

Sub series level = a group of related items within a series; for example scripts for a particular film, or correspondence for a particular theatre production.

File level = a single unit, which contains other smaller units that are described individually, for example a file of correspondence that contains a number of letters.

Item level = the lowest level of description; an indivisible unit, for example a letter or photograph.

For example:

  (Collection) LA Lindsay Anderson Collection
  (Sub collection) LA/1 Films
  (Series) LA/1/1 Early Films
  (Sub series) LA/1/1/3 Correspondence
  (File) LA/1/1/3/1 Correspondence between Lindsay Anderson & Fletcher Sutcliffe Wild Ltd.
  (Item) LA/1/1/3/1/1 Letter from Colin N Mills to D R Robin Sutcliffe

The hierarchical position of catalogue entries is illustrated above the full record view when you search the catalogue.

Extent: this field provides information about the quantity of material which is being described, for example 2 boxes, 1 file, 10 pages etc.

Format: describes the physical form of the item, for example, a letter, a photograph, a postcard, a facsimile etc.

Physical description: This field provides relevant information about any important physical characteristics which might affect a record’s use (for example size or fragility).

Ref No: This is a unique reference number which is allocated to each item (or group of items) in a collection. If you wish to consult an item from the catalogue you should provide the archivist with its Ref No.

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