Cataloging / Collection Management System (CMS)

Finding Aid Style Guide and AtoM Workflow now available

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ICFA announces the publication of its Finding Aid Style Guide for ICA-AtoM, the department’s collection management system (atom.doaks.org). Developed by ICFA staff to document local practices for internal reference and training, the Guide addresses all aspects of description: from collection-level details such as creation and acquisition information to providing file-specific storage locations.  In addition, there are sections on developing an intellectual arrangement and devising titles for each record group in a collection.

The Guide is organized in the same order of elements as it appears in the ICA-AtoM cataloging template, which is based on the International Standard for Archival Description (General), also known as ISAD-G. Instruction is provided for how to complete each of these “information areas” – identity, context, content and structure, conditions of access and use, allied materials, notes, access points, description control, and rights. There is also guidance for creating authority records, a separate record type for describing record creators, based on the International Standard Archival Authority Record For Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families, ISAAR (CPF).

In advance of the department’s conversion of their legacy finding aids, ICFA staff also produced a workflow to help guide staff to the system. The Workflow provides step-by-step instructions on how to develop new collections in ICA-AtoM based on existing Word finding aids, and is intended to be used in conjunction with the Guide, a more comprehensive reference resource for description.

Readers can find links to the Guide on the ICFA website under “About ICFA & Services” and the AtoM@DO Help page. The Workflow is available upon request.

ICFA would like to thank both the University of Maryland and the Benson Ford Research Center for providing useful models for our Guide.

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