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Tuesday, August 2 • 9:00am - 5:00pm
Arrangement and Description: Fundamentals #1706 (Day 2 of 2) LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

Fees: Advance / Regular
SAA Member: $289 / $349
Employees of Member Institutions: $329 / $389
Nonmember: $379 / $429

Course Description
(2 days, 1.5 CEUs, 1 A&D, 10 ARCs)

This workshop introduces the basic principles, concepts, and tools that archivists use to establish both physical and intellectual control over archival records. These include developing accession records and processing work plans; identifying common arrangement schemes for certain types of collections, as well as various formats; and how to physically organize materials during processing. You will also learn the essential elements of a finding aid and the major descriptive standards that support these elements. Particular emphasis will be placed on the day-to-day decisions made in arranging and describing archival materials. You'll also participate in a set of exercises designed to emphasis the principles and concepts of arrangement and description.

Upon completion of this course you'll be able to:

  • Describe the principals and concepts of arrangement;

  • Apply the common arrangement of various types of collections and material formats;

  • Identify the essential elements of a finding aid; 

  • Describe the major standards supporting these elements;

  • Identify basic tools that can be employed to facilitate management of arrangement and description; and 

  • Demonstrate an understanding of best practice

Who should attend? This is an introductory (required if you work towards the A&D Certificate) course that can be taken as a refresher course on arrangement and description by repository managers, archivists, practitioners, and/or anyone responsible for the arrangement and description of archival records.

Knowledge Assumed for this Class: Participants are expected to have basic archival training and education. This course is one of the foundational courses in the Arrangement and Description Curriculum and Certificate Program. If you intend to pursue the Certificate, you'll need to pass the examination (forthcoming) for this course.

The Arrangement & Description Competencies Addressed in this Course: 

  • Arrangement: Understand the process of organizing materials with respect to their provenance and original order to protect their context.

  • Description: Analyze, organize, and describe details about the attributes of a record or collection of records to facilitate the work's identification, management, and understanding.

  • Descriptive Standards: Apply rules and practices that codify the content of information used to represent archival materials in discovery tools according to published structural guidelines.

  • Management: Demonstrate ability to manage physical and intellectual control over archival materials. 

  • Discovery: Create tools to facilitate access and disseminate descriptive records of archival materials.

  • Ethics: Convey transparency of actions taken during arrangement and description and respect privacy, confidentiality and cultural sensitivity of archival materials. 

Attendance is limited to 35.


Susan Potts McDonald

Emory University
Susan Potts McDonald is Coordinator of Arrangement and Description Services in the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. She manages all aspects of accessioning, arrangement, and description including the creation of MARC bibliographic... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Quigley

Sarah Quigley

Interim Head of Manuscript Processing, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University

Tuesday August 2, 2016 9:00am - 5:00pm EDT
Room 208/209 Hilton Atlanta, 255 Courtland Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30303