Keywords, subject terms, or index terms are known as ‘Access Points’ in EAD archival descriptions. When you include an Access Point in your description, you are providing a point of access to what researchers are looking for. You are also providing a direct point of access to other archival descriptions on the Archives Hub which have the same point of interest. Use of Access points mean that visitors to the Archives Hub will be much more likely to find your collection’s description.
Access Points for the Archives Hub
When you include an appropriate Access Point in your description for the Archives Hub, you also provide visitors with immediate access to other descriptions with the same Access Point - to the descriptions of collections with a similar theme.
Access Points in descriptions for the Archives Hub are all web links to other descriptions. For example, a description for the collection of the papers of a novelist can be linked to a description for the papers of their publisher, and to another description for the papers of their editor. Access Points can connect descriptions for two letter writers who both exchanged correspondence, they can also connect different members of the same family. Often all these other collections are held at several different repositories. It will be your Access Points bringing all of these collections together – perhaps for the first time.
When a visitor looks at the description of the du Maurier family’s papers, the Access Points will direct them to dozens of other descriptions, not just for family members, but to other collections that are also very relevant for themes such as English literature, book illustration, and women authors.
Why are Access Points important?
Access Points are a useful way for visitors to browse from one collection description to another. Visitors can also browse through the Access Points themselves by using our ‘Browse’ and ‘Subject Finder’ pages, or search for Access Points using our ‘Advanced Search’ page.
Which Access Points?
You need to choose the most relevant Access Points for your collection description, highlighting some of the names and themes that are most likely to be of interest to researchers. We ask you to make sure that you always include an Access Point for the name of the person or organisation who created the archival material in your collection.
Access Points need to be created in a consistent way for the web links to work. To do this, we need you to use a recognized thesaurus or set of indexing rules, such as, Unesco Thesaurus and NCA Rules. This way, visitors will easily find other descriptions where the same Access Point has been included.
Help us point our visitors in the right direction – to your collection descriptions!