File Arrangement

This page contains a bit of technical stuff for those interested in better understanding browse/search results.

The aim of this website is to present digital copies of archives in a way which preserves the relationships between documents in a given physical collection.

We have adopted, as our main working model, the National Archives of Australia (NAA) system: One physical folder of documents is reproduced in one digital file, retaining the original order of the documents in that folder.

However, presentation of the digital files here is largely dictated by the underlying structure of the Omeka platform we are using.

The basic Omeka arrangement of materials is hierarchical: COLLECTIONS > Items > Files

Files: The actual digital copies of document folders you will view on this website.

Items: The descriptive data about document folders.

COLLECTIONS: Typically, the sum of all Items (folders) belonging to a particular person or organisation.

Regrettably, this hierarchical model does not fully fit either the structure or nomenclature of a physical archival collection, which typically is:

COLLECTION > SERIES or Folder groups > FILES or Folders > Items (often but not always individual documents).

We have chosen one of several possible solutions to this problem in Omeka by creating what are effectively sub-Collections within each Collection. Generally, these sub-Collections represent so-called SERIES in the typical archives description model.

This arrangement of Collections>Sub-Collections/Series can be seen under the main menu BROWSE COLLECTIONS heading.

Each Sub-Collection contains several Omeka 'Items' (typically, one item is a physical folder); each Item is represented by one or more 'Files' (viewable PDFs).

 [Page Updated: 30 August 2017]