We arrange and describe collections to both preserve materials for future use, and to make materials accessible to researchers. By documenting what is held within individual collections in our institution, we can responsibly manage our collections holistically and fulfill our responsibilities as stewards of these unique materials. The ACM Arrangement & Description program is access-driven and user-centered, producing consistent, standards-compliant work that is efficient and iterative.
when used broadly, is the process of organizing materials with respect to their provenance and original order, to protect their context and to achieve physical or intellectual control over the materials. Arrangement may or may not include physical arrangement, or sorting, and rehousing materials.
is data crafted to identify and represent an archival resource or component thereof, created through a process of analyzing, organizing, and recording details about collection materials.
is a term that combines the activities of arrangement and description, often under the assumption that the two activities always occur together. However, in ACM we recognize that arrangement and description may occur in phases with long gaps of time between, and different activities, such as reformatting of audiovisual media and digitization, may present different arrangement and descriptive needs throughout stages of the collections management lifecycle.
We strive to have an extensible arrangement and description program that, in concert with our accessioning program, will make materials available to researchers, slow the accumulation of unprocessed collection backlogs, and allow for further arrangement and description to be undertaken guided by quantitative and qualitative data collected during assessment.
In ACM, when we undertake arrangement and/or description projects, we are working to:
Visit the Cross-Program page for manuals and documentation of arrangement and description policies in ACM. The following forms are used in conjunction with those policies when surveying collections and planning processing projects: