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Ask An Archivist: Archival Description For Beginners

  • May 29, 2024
  • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
  • Zoom


  • Any staff member of a LILRC Institutional Member or a LILRC Retired Member
  • Not a LILRC or ESLN Member, or outside of NYS, or Individual
  • For staff and members of any other NY councils. (CDLC, CLRC, METRO, NNYLN, RRLC, SCRLC, SENYLRC, WNYLRC)

Registration is closed

This is a continuation of the series from LILRC's Nicole Menchise that discusses the principles of collecting and maintaining archives.

Archival Description is more than using adjectives and one's own perceptions about an object to determine its context like the subject of a photograph.  This program will provide an overview of the different elements as laid out by the Society of American Archivist's (SAA) Describing Archives a Content Standard, better known as DACS.  DACS may have been designed for consistency in creating Finding Aids, but these standards can be applied to describe collection materials you are cataloging from the general to the specific whether you are using a material management software or a spreadsheet.

From the SAA website: "Archival description enables archivists to distill masses of information about records...what they are, what they mean and the historical process by which they were created and maintained...Good archival description cannot just depict the physical and intellectual characteristics of documents.  It must communicate how the accumulation of documents in a collection represents and provides evidence of the major functions of an organization or individual.  This contextual description is key to meaning-making and gives users the tools necessary to effectively evaluate the value of records as evidence and information."

Recommended for individuals who are new to processing archives. 

Code of Conduct

For questions, please email Eliscia Cirrone,

Professional Development Hours: 1 (.1 CEUs)

Program Recording:  Yes 


1. If you do not receive a confirmation email after registering, please contact Eliscia Cirrone, to check your registration.

2.  If you have any questions regarding this program or registration and program access, please contact Eliscia Cirrone,

Long Island Library Resources Council
627 N. Sunrise Service Road
Bellport NY, 11713
Phone: (631) 675-1570

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