This glossary provides an overview of some of the terms you may come across
when searching for records in our catalogue.
The way our records appear in the catalogue reflects the structures that
surrounded their creation. This is called "hierarchical description".
The most common levels in use in our catalogue are:
All the records created or accumulated by a person or corporate body e.g. the
Collection of the United Africa Company (UAC).
A group of records within a collection which relate to each other e.g. UAC
Board: Corporate Records. This is usually only used for bigger collections.
Series: Documents arranged in accordance with a filing system or maintained as a
unit because they result from the same accumulation or filing process, or the
same activity; have a particular format; or because of some other relationship
arising out of their creation, receipt or use
An individual record or file of records
Used where an item has component parts that have been catalogued e.g. a file
of correspondence will be described at item level whereas an individual letter
within that file would be described at piece level