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Section 8:


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Access control:

A free text statement of any access restrictions placed on the collection, such as eligible users, charges, etc.


Access restricted to researchers. Appointments must be made in advance.

Accrual status:

A statement of policy on acquisition and withdrawal. Collections may be closed / open, acquisition may be active/passive, partial/selective, irregular/periodic and the method purchase/deposit while withdrawals may be none/occasional/regular review.


Donations made on an irregular basis

Accumulation date range:

The range of dates over which the collection was accumulated.



Associated collection:

The name of another collection that is associated by provenance with the current collection.

Associated publication:

The name of a publication based on the use, study or analysis of the current collection.

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Another collection that describes the current collection.


University of Bath Library OPAC (describes the University of Bath Library)


An aggregation of physical and/or electronic items. Collections may be real or virtual, permanent or temporary and of any size. Catalogues, indexes and finding-aids are also types of collection.


St Bride’s Printing Library (subject collection as complete library)

Graham Brown Collection (subject collection – on mountaineering – located in a specific location as part of another collection – National Library of Scotland)

20th century English Literature (subject collection forming part of another collection – National Library of Scotland – shelved in a dispersed fashion within NLS)

The Gutenberg Project (a collection of digital text files of out-of-copyright monographs available for downloading)

Tate Gallery Image Collection (a collection of digitised images)

Design Council Slide Collection (a collection of slides)

V&A Museum Photograph Collection (a collection of around 73,000 photographs documenting the acquisitions of the V&A)

Living Paintings (a collection of 10 different resource packs containing tactile versions of well-known paintings together with audio commentaries for visually impaired people)

BIOME subject gateway (a subject-based virtual collection of Internet resources relating to health and life sciences comprising sub-collections OMNI, Vetgate, Biores, Natural and Agrifor)


The agent who gathers (or gathered) the items in a collection together.


Sir Isaac Pitman

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A concept (keyword) associated with items in a collection. It is good practice to use terms taken from existing schemes of subject headings (e.g. LCSH) or thesauri. Any number of concept terms can be included.




A collection assessment tool that enables collections to be rated for depth of content, acquisition commitment and collection goal in specific subject areas.


Biology 1 [= supports minimal enquiries about this subject with a very limited collection of resources]

Botany 3 [= provide information in a systematic way at less than research intensity, systematically reviewed for currency of information and retention of significant numbers of retrospective items]

Canals 4 [=strive to be exhaustive as far as possible, in all possible languages, including published materials, extensive manuscript materials and other pertinent formats, older material is retained and systematically preserved for historical research]

Content dates range:

The range of dates of the individual items in the collection.


1920 onwards

Custodial history:

A statement of any changes in ownership and custody of the collection that are significant for its authenticity, integrity and interpretation.


Given to the University of Bath Library in 1977.

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Described collection:

A collection that is described by the current collection. For example a catalogue is a collection that describes another collection.


Collection level description for University of Bath Library OPAC would have
Described collection: University of Bath Library


A free text summary of the collection. While this might contain detailed subject-specific information, at least part of the description should be understandable by the end-user with no specialist knowledge of the subject area.


The National Library for the Blind offers a range of postal lending services of materials in Braille, Moon, large print, audio and electronic formats. Materials include fiction and non-fiction titles for adults and children and music scores.


A formal identifier of the collection, in the form of a URI (uniform resource identifier) or other identifier. Other identifiers may be internally or externally assigned library, archival or museum identifiers. Note that this identifier should NOT be the URL for the location of the resource.

When the identifier is publicly available, it can be displayed. When the identifier is not publicly available it should be displayed only to staff administering the collection description database.


Reveal Collections Register: Each collection is assigned a Partnership Number which is also used as part of the password protected authentication process enabling collections to edit their own collection descriptions. The collection identifier is therefore not displayed.


Individual components of a collection. Some collections contain items in one format only, while other collections contain items in more than one format.

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The language of items in the collection. If the collection is a catalogue, index or finding-aid, this relates to the language used in the catalogue records. Within a collection description database this may be held in coded form (e.g. using ISO language codes) but it is helpful to the end user if this can be displayed in natural text.


en, English, fr, French

Legal status:

A statement of the legal status of the collection.


Operates under a trust set up in 1934


The physical or online (digital) place where a collection is held.


The Library, University of Bath, Bath

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A personal or corporate name associated with the collection.


Any general information about the collection.


An object name associated with the collection. More than one object name can be included.


Longbows, Crossbows


The agent who has legal possession of the collection. This may be a person or a corporate body.

Physical characteristics:

The physical or digital characteristics of a collection.


Printed texts

150 posters, 100 pamphlets and some realia


The spatial coverage of items in the collection.


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An artefact or naturally occurring entity, as opposed to a replica. The term 'realia' is used when small numbers of objects are present in collections which are predominantly based on another format, e.g. text based or image based. 'Realia' and 'replicas' are collectively known as objects.


Pitman Shorthand Collection contains a few items of realia such as a plaster cast of the death mask of Isaac Pitman and examples of teaching aids for the Initial Teaching Alphabet. English National Ballet Archives contain some realia such as costumes and set models. London Old Vic Archive contains some realia such as theatre fittings and personal items.

RSLP Collection Description Schema:

A structured set of metadata attributes for describing collections within the Research Support Libraries Programme (RSLP).

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A free or structured text statement of the strength(s) of the collection. See also Conspectus.


Research level collection on astronomy


A second collection contained within the current collection.


Pitman Shorthand Collection [this is part of the University of Bath Library]


A second collection that contains the current collection.


University of Bath Library [this comprises the general stock plus 2 special collections]

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The temporal coverage of items in the collection.


World War 1


The type of the collection. For the RSLP schema, there is a list of categories that identify collection type, curatorial environment, collection content and collection policy and/or usage.


University of Bath Library = Collection.Library.Text

University of Bath Library OPAC = Catalogue.Library.Text

University of Bath Archives = Collection.Archive.Text

Tate Gallery = Collection.Image

British Museum =Collection.Museum.PhysicalObject

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Content by: Shirley Keane of UKOLN.
Page last revised on: 11-Aug-2003
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