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A guide and graphic to understanding how archival collections are organized.

How Are Materials Organized?

Unlike library collections that are organized by book call number or in alphabetical order, archive collections are kept in their "original order" established by the creator. The visual below will provide a detailed explanation of the "ladder" process when organizing materials. "Fonds" can also be referred to as "Collection". 

Generally, when accessing archival materials, you will start from Fonds/Collection level and work down to the item level.