Proportion of holdings listed in online archive catalogues #AskAnArchivistPosted: 12 October 2016
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 .