Module Identifier ILM1920  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Ms Mary E Ellis  
Semester Semester 2  
Course delivery Lecture   14 Hours  
  Practical   Up to 3 hours of supervised practical work per week  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Essay 2,500 words  40%
Semester Assessment 2 Practical exercises  60%

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:

Brief description

The `moral defense? of archives will be dealt with from acquisition to appraisal, weeding, sampling, de-accessioning, sorting, arranging, describing and the preparation of finding aids. The emphasis of the module is on students gaining a firm grasp of the principles that underpin archival description and of the relevant national and international standards.

A substantial part of the course is concerned with the impact of information technology on archival description and the dissemination of archival information by electronic means. Students will have the opportunity to use CALM2000, the current leading archive management software package. Students will also be made aware of current initiatives to create archive networks and of the development of protocols for electronic data exchange particularly Encoded Archival Description.


This module is intended to provide students with the skills they require to process archives from the point at which they are received into the repository to the point at which they are made available to researchers.


Reading Lists

** Recommended Background
Bureau of Canadian Archivists. Working Group in Archival Descriptive Standards (1985) Toward descriptive standards Ottawa: Bureau of Canadian Archivists
Cook Michael (1999) The Management of Information from Archives 2nd.
Cook M and Procter M (2000) Manual of Archive Description 3rd. Aldershot: Gower
Cook M and Procter M (1989) A MAD user guide: how to set about listing archives Aldershot: Gower
Dollar CM (1991) The Impact of Information Technology on Archival Principles and Methods
Gillman P (1998) National Name Authority File: report to the National Council on Archives, in "British Library research and innovation report 90" London: British Library and Innovation Centre
Henson S.L (1983) Archives, personal papers and manuscripts, a cataloguing manual for archival repositories, historical societies and manuscripts libraries Washington DC: Library of Congress
Smiraglia R.P ed (1990) Describing archival materials, the use of the MARC AMC format New York: Haworth Press
Walch V.I (1994) Standards for Archival Description Chicago: Society of American Archivists
Pitti D. Duff and Wendy M (2001) Encoded Archival Description on the Internet Binghampton: NY Haworth Information Press

Cook M (1993) The Arrangement of Estate Archives: a commentary in the light of the MAD 2 description standard Journal of the Society of Archivists, 14, pp117-24
Cook M (1995) The International Description Standards: an interim report JSA, 16, pp15-25
Higgins R (1997) Standarised languages for data exchange and storage: using the encoded archival description and SGML to create permanent electronic handlists handlists?Business Archives, Principles and Practice, 73, pp33-47
International Council on Archives/DDS (1992) (Draft) Statement of Principles regarding Archival Description (the Madrid Principles) 1991 Archivaria, 34, pp8-16
Mortimer Ian (1999) ARCHON and the indexes to the National Register of Archvies: past, present and future Program, vol33, no3, pp224-33
Society of American Archivists (1990) Standards for Archival Description standards: Background Papers American Archivist, 53, pp24-108, 130-38
Watry P.B. and M.M. Watry (1996) Automating archival collections using MARC-AMC and Z39.50 at the University of Liverpool JSA, 17, pp167-73

Web Page/Sites
Canadian Council on Archives Archival Description Online, available at
ICA Report of the Sub-committee on Finding Aids Guidelines for the Preparation and Presentation of Finding Aids Online, available at
International Council on Archives Committee on Descriptive Standards - Stockholm (1999) ISAD(G), General International Standard Archival Description; 2nd. Online, availble at:
International Council on Archives As Hoc Commission on Descriptive Standards - Ottawa (1996) International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families Online, available at:
National Council on Archives (1998) Archives On-line The Establishment of a United Kingdom Archvial Network Online, available at:

The Library of Congress Online, available at:
Leaders Project Online, available at

Great Britain Historical GIS Programme Online, available at:

UNESCO Thesaurus Online, available at:
Library of Congress Subject Headings

ISO 8879 International Standard Generalised Markup Language (SGML) 1986
ISO 23950 International information retrieval standard, Z39.50.1997


This module is at CQFW Level 7