Glossary of terms

This glossary explains the terms used in the catalogue search results and full record view and will help you understand the results that you get.

Document reference – each item in our collection has a unique reference number. Make a note of this number if the item interests you and you wish to make an appointment to view the item in our searchroom.

Title – this is the title of the collection or item displayed.

Description – this provides further information about the item displayed.

Date – the date of the item or collection, or range of dates an item or collection covers.

Level – this is an archival term indicating where the item being described is placed in the catalogue structure. A collection level will be a description of the entire collection, a series or section will describe a part of the collection (e.g. a series of minute books), a sub-series or sub-section will describe a further division in the catalogue (e.g. a sub-series of drainage committee minute books) and an item or piece will be one item within a series (e.g. drainage committee minute book, 1930-1932).

Extent - the quantity of material being described (e.g. 1 box, 1 volume). The extent is sometimes expressed as ‘cubic metres’ and one archive box is approximately 0.02 cubic metres.

Catalogue status – this tells you whether the collection or item is catalogued, partially catalogued, or uncatalogued.

Administrative history – some collection level descriptions contain a brief administrative history. This provides some historical background on the origins, history and responsibilities of the body or person which created the records, placing the material in context and making it better understood.

Access conditions – some collections and items might have restrictions on access. They may contain sensitive personal information, or a depositor may have asked for some items to be closed for a certain number of years.

Thumbnail – a small image of a document that can be clicked on and enlarged.

Copies – this tells you if the item described has been copied onto microfilm. Take a note of the MIC number if you’d like to view the microfilm copy in our searchroom. For preservation reasons, some records such as parish registers are only available to view on microfilm.

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