Information about Access
Include the following information about access at the appropriate level:
For restricted fragile material:
Box(es) [#] ([AV formats]): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.
Information about Access should include information about restrictions on access and use.
Description of the Papers should note the presence of audiovisual material in a collection, including formats, quantity, and any information about content that can be discerned by existing labels, dealer/donor descriptions, etc. Use “audiovisual material” for mixed material and “sound recordings” for mixed sound formats.
The term “Audiovisual Material” is preferred if the material in the collection is a mix of sound recordings and moving image material. If the collection holds only sound recordings, the series heading can be created at an appropriate level of specificity. In this case, use “Sound Recordings.”
If the collection holds only moving image material, or only a specific moving image format, the series heading can again be composed at an appropriate level of specificity. In this case, use “Video Recordings,” or “Films,” unless there is a compelling reason to begin description at a higher level of specificity (i.e. “Home Movies” or “Screen Tests”). AAT, the Moving Image Genre-Form Guide (Draft) and Appendix D (Form Terms) of the Archival Moving Image Materials: A Cataloging Manual may be consulted for appropriate terms to use when constructing series headings for specific formats.
If there are no format-driven subseries, note the formats included in the Description of the Papers <scopecontent> at the series level. For example: Formats include VHS and U-matic videocassettes.
Restrictions: If there is no further organization into subseries or headings, note the subseries’ fragile restriction at the series level.
Subseries headings should reflect a greater level of specificity than the series heading and should be established only if the quantity or the nature of the AV material suggests that such an arrangement is necessary. For example:
- Series title: Audiovisual Material
- Subseries titles*: Films, Sound Recordings, Video Recordings
*Depending on the collection, the archivist might opt for an intellectual arrangement into subseries instead of a format-driven arrangement. For example, subseries might be established by writing project, with accompanying audiovisual material for each project. The subseries would be the project title and audiovisual material should be noted within each subseries.
At the subseries level, note the formats included in the Description of the Papers <scopecontent>. For example: Formats include VHS and U-matic videocassettes.
Restrictions: If there is no further organization into headings, note the subseries’ fragile restriction at the subseries level.
In the case of large collections, headings may be used within subseries for further description. For example:
- Series title: Audiovisual Materials
- Subseries title: Video Recordings
- Heading titles: Productions, Interviews, Other Recordings
- Subseries title: Video Recordings
Restrictions: Note the heading’s fragile restriction at this level.
Recognizing that the existing container label might be incorrect or incomplete, the archivist should still use it to formulate folder titles if it is the only information at hand. Transcribed label titles should be in quotes. If date is unknown, use “undated.”
If known, information about the archival media’s running time should be placed in a <note> following the folder title. Use the following format: “Running time: 36.41 min.” Please note that the running time transcribed from a container label will be different than the duration time that will be added to the description after media is digitized.
If the audiovisual material has not been arranged in a series or subseries that adequately informs the user about the format of each individual item, note the specific format and quantity in an <extent> element.
- “Freeman (Visions)” 1972 <extent>2 U-matic videocassettes</extent>
- Unidentified home movie 1945 <extent>8mm film</extent>
- Interview with Daisy Aldan 1985 <extent>audiocassette</extent>
- Poetry readings and interviews <extent>4 reel-to-reel tapes</extent>
If the content is unknown, simply state the format and quantity.
- Audiocassettes <extent>15 audiocassettes</extent>
- Reel-to-reel sound recordings <extent>16 tapes</extent>
- 12” record albums <extent>3 discs</extent>