physical control

n.  the establishment and tracking of the location of holdings in a repository’s custody


This archival function often occurs as part of accessioning or processing. Physical control ensures that archival resources are stored where descriptions indicate. Intellectual control includes descriptive efforts to identify potentially relevant materials and point to where those materials should be stored. Sometimes the pointers are absolute, indicating a specific box on a specific shelf in a specific room. In other cases, the pointers may be relative, directing users to a collection and box number that are positioned within a range of similar numbers.