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Once you have taken in an archive collection, the next step is to organise and describe it in a way that makes it easy for you to manage and make available for researchers. This process is known as arrangement.

Arrangement ensures you know and record:

  • What the collection contains
  • How much material there is
  • How the items in the collection relate to each other
  • Where the items are stored
  • If there are any conditions relating to access

If archive collections are not arranged there is a risk of losing information:

  • Physically eg losing or misplacing one of a collection of notebooks
  • Intellectually eg not having any information about a folder of photographs

A loss of information means a risk of:

  • Being unable to help a researcher with their enquiries
  • The collection losing its research value