I would appreciate your advice on the following subject. A residents'
association whose member I am has approached me recently to 'sort out
their records' and 'set up a proper archive'. The Association has a
thirty-year history and about 15-20 linear feet of records, comprising
their own minutes, accounts, publications etc., as well as papers of other
organisations with which they interact. The Association does not intend to
deposit their papers in any public archive - they just want them
catalogued and managed so that the papers are easily accessible to their
And here comes my question. Could anyone advise me what software to use to
catalogue the records from scratch? The Association obviously won't be
able to (and doesn't need to) invest in a proper cataloguing package such
as CALM. They want to keep the catalogue simple - it has to be easy to use
and maintain, accessible to the Committee members, cheap, and easy to get
hold of. Future plans include putting it on the web, so this should be
taken into account as well. ACCESS is an obvious software option here, but
maybe you know about something more suitable?
If ACCESS does turn out to be the best choice, perhaps you could give me
some practical clues as to the cataloguing. For example, how can it
reflect the hierarchy of archival description - should I create a single
database with a separate table for each series, or are there other ways of
I will appreciate any comments - I have a two years' experience as a
cataloguer at a local authority archive and am currently training to be an
archivist, but I have never been involved in creating an archive and RM
system from scratch!
Please reply off-list.
London Metropolitan Archives
tel. (020) 7332 3881