Skip to main content.
 
Undergraduate study, Queen Mary, University of London

Glossary

Level
This is the archival term for where the record can be found in the catalogue structure (in its hierarchical structure). The levels most currently used in the catalogues are listed below:

Fonds level
The whole of the collection, organically created and/or accumulated and used by a particular person, family, or corporate body in the course of that creator's activities and functions. The fonds level provides an overview and a summary of the contents of each archive collection, e.g. the Westfield College collection.

Sub-Fonds level
A subdivision of the fonds level, e.g. Westfield College Association papers.

Series level (sub-series, sub-sub-series)
A series of records within the collection, e.g Staff Administration.

File level
A group of related records within the series, e.g. Correspondence concerning appointments to Chairs and Readerships of the University, 1929-1973. In most catalogues either file level or item level will be used, rather than both levels.

Item level
The smallest intellectually indivisible archival unit within the series, e.g. Staff starters and leavers book, 1946-1996.

Reference No
This is the reference number of the document. If the collection has been fully catalogued, you will need to state the Reference No listed at file or item level when arranging an appointment to view the document in the Archives Reading Room.

Description

Description provides a detailed description of the scope and contents of a collection, file or item.

Admin History

Administrative History provides contextual information about the collection. This includes historical information about the institution that created the collection or biographical information about the individual who created the collection.

Arrangement

Arrangement explains how the files or items in the collection have been arranged into sub-fonds or series, thereby outlining the hierarchical divisions within the collection.

Extent
This field provides information about the quantity of material which is being described (e.g. 2 boxes, 1 volume).