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Introduction to Primary Source Research: Archives terminology

Basic information on doing research using primary sources

Glossary of archival terms

Archive - An organization that collects the records of individuals, families, or other organizations.

Archival Collection - Materials created or received by a person, family, or organization.

Box/Carton - Archival collections are typically stored in boxes. These boxes come in a variety of sizes and shapes. The Bancroft Library uses both box and carton to differentiate size.

Bulk Dates - Most materials in the collection are from this time period.

Collection - A group of materials compiled by a single person or group.

Finding Aid/Collection Guide  - Finding Aids/Collection Guides contain descriptive information about collections. They will either provide an overview of the contents of each box or a list of folder titles. You can use them to identify relevant portions of a collection.

Inclusive Dates - Earliest and latest dates for items in a collection.

Linear Feet - How much shelf space a collection occupies. This information can be helpful in determining how much time you will need to review a collection.

Papers - A variety of formats associated with an individual or family.

Records - A variety of formats associated with a group or organization.

Series - Subgroups of related materials within a collection.

Special Collections - Materials in a variety of formats that are generally characterized by their artifactual or monetary value, physical format, uniqueness or rarity.

UC Berkeley Campus Map

Sanborn Fire Insurance Company map of UC Berkeley Campus,1929

http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/hb0k4003p6