Archives 101: Description of Your Arrangement is Very Useful!

During the month of April the NCAR Archives will be offering a glimpse of what an archivist does behind the scenes with boxes of records. Check back often for new posts!


Original or imposed, a description of your arrangement is very useful!  Once you have an arrangement, whether original or imposed, a description of that arrangement is important in order to easily find your materials.  The first step is to make sure that each file folder used has a title.  When the file folders are then put into a box or file cabinet drawer, a list of the file folders will become the basis for making a Finding Aid to the Collection of papers that has been arranged.

If your box of papers is all that you have, as is common for personal manuscripts, then add your provenance information to the list to complete a simple finding guide.  If your papers are part of a larger archival collection, then the provenance information for your box should make clear that they are part of a larger set of related papers.  Often large sets of related papers, or Series, are all described together in a master finding guide.

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Kate Legg, Archives & Digital Collections Librarian

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The NCAR Archives are open year round, Monday through Thursday, from 8:30-4:00. The archivist offers reference and information services for all users.  If you would like to visit the Archives, please contact us 24 hours in advance to schedule an appointment.

The Archives are located at the Mesa Lab in Boulder, CO. View directions and a map.