ELHG ARCHIVES

Overview

This page describes the archives kept by Effingham Local History Group and – for members only – provides access to the catalogue via the button on the right.

Archiving Protocol

An item is considered to have been formally entered into the ELHG archives if and only if all of the following conditions have been met:

• it has been assigned a unique identifier having a particular structure;

• it has been described by an archive record having a particular structure;

• the archive record has been stored electronically in the catalogue;

• the archive record has been stored as a printout in the physical repository;

• if the item exists in physical form, it has been stored with its archive record in the physical repository;

• if the item exists in electronic form, it has been stored in the electronic repository.

Identifiers

A particularly simple taxonomy is employed in the archives. Each item is assigned a category, a type and an index, and its identifier is then a single string of the form

ELHG/category/type/index

The categories are quite fine-grained – examples include individual surnames, house names, street names, event titles and so on. At end-2022 there were 308 such categories.

The type expresses the form in which the item exists – examples include image, document and album. At end-2022 there were 9 such types.

The index is a unique number for the item within all those items for a particular (category, type) pairing. For example, a particular photograph showing Effingham’s Jubilee celebrations in the year 1935 has the reference

ELHG/jubilee35/image/4

and is one of about a dozen photographs held under the (jubilee35, image) pairing. At end-2022 there were 480 distinct pairings.

Archive Records

An item’s archive record has seven attributes:

• identifier
• item date
• acquisition date
• source
• form in which held
• general subject
• specifics

Whilst the identifier has the strict syntax defined above, the other attributes are free text descriptions. The electronic form of the record is a block of html which when rendered in a browser presents, for the example under consideration, the exact appearance shown on the right. This html is part of a catalogue file named jubilee35_image.html holding the blocks for all archive records in the (jubilee35, image) pairing. The catalogue file presents a complete web page when rendered in a browser.

The catalogue is the entire collection of catalogue files, being 480 in total at end-2022.

 


ELHG/jubilee35/image/4

item date: 06 May 1935
acquisition date: 04 May 2011
source: Margaret Mary (nee Nicholls) Biles (formerly Pratley)
form in which held: (i) high resolution scan (jpeg); (ii) print of scan
general subject: Effingham’s celebrations of the Silver Jubilee of the Accession of King George V
specifics: Effingham’s celebrations of the Silver Jubilee in 1935 took place mainly on May 6th; press reports state that they began with a thanksgiving service at St. Lawrence Church, followed by a children’s fancy dress procession; after this, there was a tree-planting ceremony in the grounds of St. Lawrence School and then a procession, via the shrine in St. Lawrence churchyard, to the Carn Pit Field for numerous further festivities; image 4 evidently shows the latter procession from St. Lawrence School, being led by Ralph Edgar Street (head gardener at The Lodge) and pupil Arthur Wells holding the bouquet that he was soon to place on the shrine

A printout of an archive record is made from a Word file showing the same attribute entries as does the electronic version. It also shows who made the record and when. The printout for the example under consideration is shown opposite.

Physical Repository

A printout of an archive record is in most cases stored in a pocket within one of numerous ringbinders, alphabetically ordered by identifier, accompanied by the physical item itself. An exception is where the item is too large to be filed in a ringbinder, in which case it is placed in a larger envelope or other container together with its archive record printout inside one of several archive trays.

Electronic Repository

The electronic repository consists of

• a directory holding the catalogue files;

• a directory holding the Word versions of the archive records;

• a directory holding the electronic items.

The electronic items are mostly .jpg or .pdf files but also include some audio and movie files in .mp3 or .mp4 format.

Most items are held in both electronic and physical form. If, for example, the Group acquires a historic postcard of Effingham then it is normal to create scans of its front and reverse, and these two images constitute the electronic archive record. The filename for an electronic item uses a syntax similar to the item’s identifier, e.g. jubilee35_image_4.jpg.