Contributing Themed Collection Descriptions
What are Themed Collections?
Themed Collections are curated collections of digital resources, such as a multi-archive digitisation project or a theme-based aggregation available via a website.
Submitting a Themed Collection description
We welcome descriptions of resources that provide access to primary source material.They must be based in the UK and available to researchers.
Our EAD Editor provides a form to fill in to create a Themed Collection description. If you already have a login, simply use the appropriate tab to open the form. If you do not contribute, we can provide you with access to the Editor in order to create a Themed Collection description.
The information on this page and additional information about completing the fields are available in a Guide to Creating Themed Collection Descriptions (Word doc.).
Please contact us if you have any questions about submitting a description.
Using the Submission Form
Be aware that you cannot save the form as you go along, so you might want to scan it for the information that is required and have the content prepared. Things to think about:
- A title that works on the Web
- A unique identifier
- Time period covered
- Languages used
- Collection size, if applicable
- Material types
- Related collections
- Index terms (names and subjects)
You might want to find an image (thumbnail size) that can be displayed alongside the description – you will need a URL for the image.
Updating Themed Collection Descriptions
At the moment you will need to notify us of updates and we will revise the description for you. We are planning to create a more sustainable form so that descriptions can be saved locally and re-submitted.
Why include Themed Collections?
The aim of the Archives Hub is to help researchers quickly and easily search and explore across as many archives as possible. The inclusion of Themed Collections will help to surface digitised material and project-based resources which might not otherwise be represented on the Archives Hub.
Adding a themed collection:
- Enables researchers to discover your resource by keyword, topic, date, etc., along with thousands of other archival collections on the Archives Hub
- Gives your resource more visibility, as the Archives Hub has good search engine rankings.
- Gives the opportunity to link to related collections on the Hub or elsewhere, to facilitate connectivity between resources
- Creates an interoperable Encoded Archival Description (EAD) record that can be used elsewhere
- Should only take an hour of your time – the form is simple and easy to use
Why are Themed Collections different to Archive Collections?
Themed Collections can't easily be catalogued using standard ISAD(G) approaches. They might not have an identifiable creator/originator, they may not have an obvious extent, as they bring together varied resources, and they do not have an archival hierarchy. They typically cover more than one collection, or parts of collections. They may not be hosted at one institution and the website, which provides access to the archives, is the focus of the resource.
If you are still not sure what Themed Collections covers, it is useful to explore the descriptions already on the Hub.
Characteristics of Themed Collections
- A website provides access to the content. This often provides a level of support and interpretation to the user, rather than simply providing descriptions of content.
- The content relates to a theme, e.g. dance, photography, navigation, old maps, London’s past, Britain on film
- The content typically comes from a variety of sources rather than a single source
- The content is usually digital, or the website provides some level of access to the actual materials
- The content is not more appropriately described as a standard archival collection (typically with a defined creator and history, hosted by one institution, stored in one location and ordered hierarchially)
- There are not levels of description. A collection that could appropriately be described hierarchially should be treated as a standard archive collection.