The descriptions in the catalogue are arranged according to a hierarchy:

Fonds level

This means that the description applies to the whole collection. For instance, the fonds level description of collection D3808 refers to all the records created by the Staveley Coal and Iron Company, its predecessor firms and subsidiaries.

Sub-fonds level

A sub-fonds level description applies to a part of the archive collection. So, D3808/26 refers to records created by Browne and Shaw, one of the subsidiary companies of the Staveley Coal and Iron Company.

Series level

A description at series level applies to a series of records that have the same origin and type of content. For instance, D3808/26/3 refers to the annual signed accounts of Browne and Shaw, which run from 1923 to 1948.

File or item level

This is the lowest level of description that we normally use. For instance, D3808/26/3/21 refers to the volume of Browne and Shaw's accounts covering 1943. You will need to have file/item level descriptions if you want to order documents for searchroom use or as copies. If you can't find a specific reference to the document you need please contact us.
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