What is the meaning of the file’s signature?

In ideal circumstances, when an archive takes on file holdings from an external source, this source will also submit card indexes, log books and other facilitating aids as a systematic record of the contents of the holdings. In local authorities and other government agencies, files are provided with a distinct registration number (reference number or file number). In order to make file holdings accessible for use in an archive, these file holdings were indexed according to archival criteria: files in the finding aid may therefore be recorded, together with a signature, according to external characteristics (size, volume, condition) as well as according to content-related characteristics (subject, personal or business names). The signature consists of some identification features, such as country abbreviations, name of archive, title of the holdings, type of file and file number.

Last update on 14-5-2019 by Doris Altinger.