Below are the definitions of some terms researchers may find useful.


This is the entirety of records that relate to an originator, for example, the records in the Queen’s University Archive were created by members of Queen’s University, Belfast.

Arrangement of collection

The arrangement of each archival collection is unique to that collection. The records are arranged in a hierarchical structure which reflects the relationships between them moving from the general to the more specific. This means that each record can be viewed in the context of the overall arrangement of the collection.

The records in the Queen’s University Archive collection are arranged according to the functions or activities undertaken in the University.


In the hierarchical arrangement of the archival collection each level is identified by a different term:

For example:

(Collection)QUBQueen’s University Archive Collection
(Section) QUB/1 Queen’s College Belfast
(Series) QUB/1/4 Reports of the President of Queen’s College Belfast, 1850-1909
(Item) QUB/1/4/1 The Report of QCB President, 1850

The position of an item in the collection hierarchy is shown above the record view in the catalogue search results.

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