The word archive itself dates from the mid seventeenth century, ultimately deriving from the Greek word arkheia meaning ‘public records’. Archivist is a slightly later word, coming into English in the eighteenth century. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first recorded use of the word is this, from 1753: ‘Under the emperors the Archivist was an officer of great dignity.’ Happily, in my experience this continues to be the case.My understanding is that most archives, such as those held in the Library of Birmingham, are structured roughly on the following lines. A collection is a whole body of material (letters, documents, photographs, and so forth) held by an institution. The more technical term fonds (borrowed from French) is sometimes used by archivists to describe an entire collection originating from a single source. An accession is one of the individual bodies of material that form part of the collection and that arrived at a particular time, for example as a gift or purchase. A file is a group of documents that are related in some way. And an item is an individual document or other object held in a file.
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- Happy 282nd Birthday James Watt!! #Archives libraryofbirmingham.com/article/archiv… 3 hours ago
- RT @JFredT: @TheIronRoom @BhamCityCouncil @BrumMfr @brumculture @BM_AG The site of Gingerbread Court probably now lies partly under the Rag… 3 hours ago
- A note on the back of this photo reads: "Portrait of The Queen of the Gipsies which had their camp on the Black Pat… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… 5 hours ago
- Don't miss this week's blog about additions to the #Archives collections during 2017! ow.ly/3rKQ30hMMPd 1 day ago
- One of our researchers is looking at this map today showing the Hurst Street/Arcadian/markets end of #Birmingham, h… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… 1 day ago