inventoryn. a finding aid Evans, Harrison, and Thompson 1974, 424INVENTORY. (1) A basic archival finding aid that generally includes a brief history of the organization and functions of the agency whose records are being described; a descriptive list of each record series giving as a minimum such data as title, inclusive dates, quantity, arrangement, relationships to other series, and description of significant subject content; and, if appropriate, appendices which provide such supplementary information as a glossary of abbreviations and special terms, lists of folder headings on special subjects, or selective indexes. (2) In records management the term is used to describe a survey of records prior to disposition or the development of records retention schedules. See also REGISTER (2) Duckett 1975, 135–136The inventory is the best tool yet devised for maintaining bibliographic control over huge twentieth-century collections; and in a condensed form, it is useful in describing collections of one box and larger. The inventory should contain the following elements in a heading or introduction: the title of the collection; inclusive dates of the material; and a physical description (number of boxes, volumes, linear measure, etc.). Some institutions also include statements on literary rights and provenance in the introduction. Following the heading is a biography or history of the person or organization around which the collection is formed, and then a general statement on the content and scope of the collection. Next comes a container list or, if it is more appropriate, a series description; then, if needed, a folder listing by title. SAA 1976, 7The inventory is the most widely used finding aid for the archives record group. Similarly, the register is the most widely used finding aid for manuscript collections. . . . Registers and inventories differ in certain aspects, but both conform to basically similar structures. The register generally incorporates sections which permit greater detail than is usually feasible in the inventory of archives records groups, but greater or lesser emphasis may be given to any element of the finding aid to accomodate the repository’s requirements or the demands of an individual case. Berner and Haller 1984, 139The principles of inventory construction are based on the following assumptions: (1) The inventory is to be the information source for index or catalog entries. (2) The inventory is to register the level of control that has been achieved in the arrangement process. (3) There are to be proportionately more index/catalog terms as each successive level of control is achieved. Berner and Haller 1984, 140The inventory also should appear familiar; it is a container list. It is deliberately structured, however, to reflect the record level at which control is established; and the file unit descriptions carry indexable terms that may be either the original terms or adjusted ones devised by the archives staff. Feeney 1999, 208Inventories differ among repositories, but most include an introduction or abstract; a history or biography of the collection’s originating agency or individuals; a scope note detailing the size, contents, media, and arrangement of the collection; descriptions of the series subdivisions within the collection; container-level (box or folder) listings of the materials in each series; and an index or list of subject headings used to describe the collection. LeFevre 2010, 36–37The inventory is the basic tool of records management. It provides the information that unions need to make decisions about the disposition, retention, or destruction of records. a list of records Maher 1992, 296The clerical staff’s inventory will provide a solid basis for the archivist’s follow-up inventory. The archivist’s inventory should include a drawer-by-drawer, box-by-box examination of the file to verify the information on the Records Inventory Work Sheets and to determine which file descriptions should be combined or divided to reflect distinct records series or accommodate special scheduling considerations. Miller 2008, 51Request a box list inventory (in electronic format if possible) of the materials to be transferred and identify the locations . . . from which these materials. If there are multiple shipments or deliveries, each shipment should include an inventory. Hackbart-Dean and Slomba 2012, 34The key to minimal processing is to repurpose all the information already available. You can create an inventory as a collection is received or review existing box and folder labels to make certain information is accurate and the condition is acceptable. v. the process of documenting the records in a location, typically at the series level Wheaton 1982, 456Put most plainly, we provide here a complete system to inventory useful descriptive information on correspondence, whatever the subject or period of the exchanges. Coker 1985, 418The appraisal process is designed to consider the records of a department or agency as a whole entity. We prefer not to inventory/schedule record series piecemeal. Daly 1988, 473The Park District at the time was headed by an implacable political opponent of the mayor, but he has since been replaced and as of January 1988, Archives staff are preparing to inventory and schedule the district’s materials.
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