What does 'the folder level' mean in a finding aid for an archival collection?


Many of the collections in Special Collections and Archives have been processed at the folder level. This means that during archival processing, the archivist physically arranged the folders (which contain numerous materials) in an order and described the folders in the finding aid in an inventory.

The folders may be arranged an inventory within series or groupings of related materials, they may be arranged chronologically, or alphabetically. The archivist then described those groupings of folders in the finding aid.

Below are a few examples from a finding aid, noting the different levels of description:

The series level includes groupings of materials. Series are generally groupings of similar subjects or formats.


Folders of materials in the collection generally have a name (sometimes the folder name is the name the records creator used, sometimes one an archivist created), and dates indicating the date range of the content in the folder.

If you select individual folders, in a finding aid there may be additional description including notes about the folder content, restrictions, and links to digital objects for that folder; or there may not be additional description.

  • Last Updated Mar 23, 2023
  • Views 41
  • Answered By Aiden Faust

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