Proportion of holdings listed in online archive catalogues #AskAnArchivist

Last week, the 5th of October was #AskAnArchivist day.  I posed this question to 9 archive Twitter accounts from Britain and Ireland:

What proportion of your holdings are in your online catalogue?

I thank them all for responding and openly sharing.  One failed to answer the question and another doesn’t have an online catalogue.  The rest ranged between 10% and 98%.

Now think about the implications for genealogists and family historians.

You may need to ask whether there are un-catalogued, but relevant, holdings at a particular archive.

In the current climate of austerity, it is fabulous that some archives have managed to catalogue a high proportion of holdings online.  However, some archives are very badly under-resourced, so it would be unfair to berate those who have not yet achieved excellence.

I specifically asked about online catalogues, because these are accessible to researchers everywhere.  Several respondents commented on upgrading paper and card catalogues, and finding aids being a priority.  Partial catalogue listing of collections or fonds is helpful, but researchers really want each item to be described.

For anyone who wants to follow me on Twitter, my handle is @sue_familyfolk .




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