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Organizing Archival Records


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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments Introduction Chapter 1: Understanding Archival Organization Chapter 2: Two Foundations of Archival Organization Chapter 3: Levels of Organization Chapter 4: Steps of Organization Chapter 5: Arrangement and Description of Digital Records Chapter 6: Organization and Sharing Tools Chapter 7: Beyond Arrangement and Description Chapter 8: Conclusion Chapter 9: Examples Chapter 10: Exercises and Answers Chapter 11: Bibliography Index About the Author

About the Author

David W. Carmicheal is Director of the Pennsylvania State Archives and the former Director of the Georgia Department of Archives and History. Early in his career he established the Westchester County (New York) Archives and was Director of the Records and Archives Center for many years. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Society of American Archivists and a past president of the Council of State Archivists. Mr. Carmicheal began developing workshops for small archives and avocational archivists in 1986. This publication grew out of those efforts.


Carmichael's stated mission is to provide a resource for those with little to no archival experience; in this he succeeds admirably. Writing in uncommonly clear prose, Carmicheal effectively explains to a non-specialist audience the sometimes-counterintuitive principles of archival arrangement and description. Not only does Carmichael concisely define a select number of key archival concepts - provenance, original order, collective description, levels of arrangement - but he explains why those ideas matter. To cite just one example, I've never read a more intelligible analysis of the concept of a "series." The work is well organized and thorough without being a pedantic jargon-fest. Each topic is accompanied by examples and exercises that give readers the opportunity for practical experimentation, while the author's interspersed firsthand experiences and anecdotes lend a familiar, and at times humorous, touch. -- Matt Veatch, State Archivist, Kansas Historical Society
David Carmicheal once again combines his years of professional experience with the most current archival practice. He has a knack for translating difficult concepts into clear action plans, often using practical examples to make his points. The Fourth Edition of Organizing Archival Records belongs on the bookshelf of every beginning archivist. -- Gregory S. Hunter, professor, Palmer School of Library and Information Science
Organizing Archival Records provides nuts and bolts of caring for historical records. The 4th edition of this useful volume includes a chapter on arranging digital records and creating Encoded Archival Description files. The book is filled with step-by-step instructions for caring for collections, multiple illustrations, and simple quizzes testing one's knowledge, and it is a must for people working with both small and large collections. -- Kaye Lanning Minchew, co-author of Managing Local Government Archives

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