Course:3: Processing
Lesson:Lesson 4: Description
Topic:Lesson 4 Summary

Lesson 4 Summary

A good finding aid is:

  • Intended for the users. A finding aid must help researchers find the materials they are looking for.
  • Objective about the collection. The bias of the processor or the collecting program should not be reflected in a finding aid. It should describe without commentary.
  • Aware of the needs of many users. A good finding aid anticipates how different users will approach the collection.
  • Clear, concise and consistent. Avoid jargon.  Create a finding aid template that provides consistency for your users.
  • Efficient. It is easy for the user to scan and grasp the information necessary as quickly as possible.

Now that you have an understanding of each of the three tasks involved in arranging and describing a collection, we will integrate all three tasks by looking at a case study of an archivist processing a collection.

Puzzle icon

Click here to access a game designed to review your familiarity with key terms and definitions introduced in this course.