n.the management of the holdings in an archival repository, including the documentation of related processesEvans 1966, 260Once established, record groups are usually the basic units for administrative control; that is, for arrangement, description, reference service, and statistical accounting and reporting.Calmes 1979, 167The National Archives and Records Service (NARS) A-1 System is a computer-assisted procedure for compiling all the series level inventories of the National Archives record groups into one master file. Two main purposes of the system are: (1) to provide the Office of the National Archives with administrative control over the record groups (allocation to custodial units and quantity control); and (2) to compile all series descriptions into one machine-readable file according to a standard format and a hierarchical addressing scheme.Burns 1979, 296One other key planning item remained: the design of survey and administrative control forms that would track survey time and costs. By the use of check blocks in several areas and by limitation of the data collected to the absolutely essential, it was possible to create one legal-size survey form by which the task could be accomplished. For administrative control, another form was devised that was in essence a daily log of all surveyor activity: time and place of survey work, travel time and mileage, forms review, recheck work, and office public relations.Brichford 1980, 432Added benefits of archival automation are realized in improved administrative control and an increased potential for archival research.Sahli 1986, 15With the AMC format, there is now an opportunity for archivists to take a detailed look not only at their descriptive systems (or lack thereof), but also at the methods used for providing administrative control over materials. It is likely that such evaluation will reveal repetition and redundancy in archival administrative practices and record keeping, with multiple forms and a lot of duplicated effort.Bearman 1995, 393–394Secondly, documentation must ensure that information collected in the course of conducting archives business transactions supports the administrative operations of the archives and its parent organization. If knowledge obtained in conjunction with business process analysis could support planning for space requirements for future records holdings, or identify tasks which exploit information brought in from outside the organization, it could be used to define data structures that will prove usable for administrative control. The analysis of internal information flows could support a new strategy for information management within archives and in the parent organization.Eastwood 2000, 97However, the solution does not lie in building arrangement on administrative control of accessions, which produces intellectual control wedded to principles of physical control and fails altogether to solve the problem of identifying records with the grouping to which they belong. (All contemporary writers agree on this matter.) The answer lies elsewhere. Whatever the disagreement in interpreting the concept of the fonds, the need to separate physical and administrative control from intellectual control is incontestable. Therefore, the first rule of arrangement is separate physical and administrative control from intellectual control.Greene and Meissner 2005, 226So, what do these wide disparities in processing metrics tell us? Right off the top, they tell us that a couple of generations of us have failed to establish reasonable administrative controls over a crucial and extremely expensive component of our work as archivists, despite all the experience accumulated in work on large twentieth-century archival collections.
Administrative control extends to include managing collections on deposit as well as the documentation of deaccessioned material.