Arrangement and Description: Fundamentals #1937  [A&D]


Thu, Mar 14, 2019, through Fri, Mar 15, 2019
University of Texas at San Antonio
San Antonio, TX

Additional details

Early-Bird Registration Deadline: February 15, 2019


Lodging & Travel Information

Wyndham Garden San Antonio near La Cantera
6809 North Loop 1604 West
San Antonio, TX 78256

Workshop Fees

Registration Type Fees: Early-Bird / Regular

Full Registration #1937

SAA Member $299 / $369
Employees of Member Institutions $359 / $449
Nonmember $419 / $529

Not a member? Consider joining today! See full member benefits here. The online registration form provides the option to join and register in one transaction.

Workshop Agenda

Event Name Date & Time Instructors/Speakers & CEUs

Arrangement and Description: Fundamentals #1937

Thu, Mar 14, 2019 -
Fri, Mar 15, 2019
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Pamela S. Hackbart-Dean
Anne M. Ostendarp

A&D Foundational Tier: 1
General CEU Credits: 1.5
Archival Recertification Credits: 10

Workshop Description

This course introduces the basic principles, concepts, and tools that archivists use to establish both physical and intellectual control over archival records. These include developing accession records and processing work plans; identifying common arrangement schemes for certain types of collections, as well as various formats; and how to physically organize materials during processing. You will also learn the essential elements of a finding aid and the major descriptive standards that support these elements. Particular emphasis will be placed on the day-to-day decisions made in arranging and describing archival materials. You'll also participate in a set of exercises designed to emphasis the principles and concepts of arrangement and description.

*This course is a requirement of the Arrangement & Description Certificate Program.

Upon completion of this course you'll be able to:
  • Grasp the principals and concepts of arrangement.
  • Apply the common arrangement of various types of collections and material formats.
  • Identify the essential elements of a finding aid.
  • Describe the major standards supporting these elements.
  • Identify basic tools that can be employed to facilitate management of arrangement and description.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of best practice.

Who should attend? New archives professionals and graduate students in archival programs who have little or no experience in the arrangement and description of archival records; it can also be taken as a refresher course for those who have not kept abreast of changing standards and practices.

What You Should Already Know: Participants are expected to have basic archival training and education.

The Arrangement & Description Competencies Addressed in this Course: 

  1. Arrangement: Understand the process of organizing materials with respect to their provenance and original order to protect their context and facilitate access.
  2. Description: Analyze and describe details about the attributes of a record or collection of records to facilitate identification, management, and understanding of the work.
  3. Descriptive Standards: Apply rules and practices that codify the content of information used to represent archival materials in discovery tools according to published structural guidelines.
  4. Management: Demonstrate ability to manage physical and intellectual control over archival materials.
  5. Discovery: Create tools to facilitate access and disseminate descriptive records of archival materials.
  6. Ethics: Convey transparency of actions taken during arrangement and description and respect privacy, confidentiality, and cultural sensitivity of archival materials.

If you intend to pursue the A&D Certificate, you will need to pass the examination for this course.


Participant responses to "what aspect of the workshop methods/materials was most valuable to you?" included:

  • "I appreciated the workbook as it contains not only the notes but examples and helpful sources. ... I also liked the group exercises, which helped me make sense of materials we had just learned."
  • "The course as a whole was the most valuable. It refreshed some of the principles I already learned in my A&D course at school and helped clarify material that I'd struggled with."
  • "The description of the elements of a finding aid was extremely valuable to me, as it wasn't something I was very comfortable with previously, and I will be using it in my work."
  • "I found the course packet to be very useful-it clearly and concisely summarizes the key information and gives references for further work."
  • "Discussing the content that should and should not go in certain parts of a finding aid (e.g., scope & content or biographical/historical information) and proper DACS formatting were the most important to me. I understand the basic principles of arrangement fairly well but have never been confident about how I put things into EAD finding aids."

Attendance is limited to 35.