|Lesson:||Lesson 2: Arrangement|
|Topic:||Collections and Series|
Collections and Series
Provenance and original order are the principles upon which arrangement and description occur. But when it’s time to think about the actual work of arrangement, collections and series are vital concepts to understand.
We’ve been using the term “collection” throughout these courses. In archival work, a “collection” is a group of records that have the same creator (provenance) and are related to each other.
Here are some examples of collections:
Collection. A collection is a group of records that have the same creator (provenance) and are related to each other.
Some larger collections may consist of several “series.” A record series is a group of records that logically belongs together, are filed and maintained together, and are created to serve the same function. Let’s look again at two of the previous examples to see how collections and series work together.
Board of Trustees Minutes, 1956-1973
This is a small collection that can be described as one unit. Minutes are a distinct type of record that logically belong together and serve the same function.
Sailing Association Records, 1934-1978
This collection consists of several series. They include 1) minutes, 2) membership rosters, 3) correspondence, and 4) photographs of events. If this collection is very small (a box or two) you would describe it just at the collection level, noting the parts into which it is divided.
Sailing Association Records, 1934-1978. These records consist of minutes, membership rosters, correspondence, and photographs.
But if it is a larger collection you would need to describe the collection as a whole, then explain each of the four parts. That would look like this:
Sailing Association Records (collection A)
Minutes (series 1)
Now we will move on to look at the steps you should go through when arranging your records.
Record Series. A record series is a group of records that logically belong together, are filed and maintained together, and that serve the same function.