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Archival indexing : problems and issues

The last decade has seen an unprecedented flood of material coming into archival repositories. As a result, there is a great need for procedures which provide a high degree of intellectual control over records. One such procedure is the indexing of archival materials. An archival index provides access to a large number of name and subject terms, without being bound by the traditional archival structures dictated by provenance. This process has not traditionally been widely understood by archivists, but it is important to grasp the fundamental principles of archival indexing, as well as the problems and issues that follow. This is especially true in a period when methods of automated information processing have reached new levels of sophistication.
This thesis is an exploration of these problems and issues. The place of indexing in a complete system of archival description is established, and the process defended as a valid part of archival retrieval. The thesis also offers guidelines for conducting the actual indexing process, and making several basic decisions faced by archival indexers with regard to the implementation of indexing in an archival descriptive system. In addition, the merits of such alternative methods as controlled-vocabulary and uncontrolled-vocabulary indexing, and coordination of desired terms before and after index creation, are weighed, and the positive and negative aspects of certain recently-developed systems evaluated. The thesis concludes by stating ways in which archivists must re-evaluate the indexing process for it to be used effectively in the future. / Arts, Faculty of / Library, Archival and Information Studies (SLAIS), School of / Graduate
Date January 1987
CreatorsMartin, Russell Lewis
PublisherUniversity of British Columbia
Source SetsUniversity of British Columbia
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeText, Thesis/Dissertation
RightsFor non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use

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