What are finding aids?
Finding aid is created during the archival processing and serves for registration and orientation in the contents and time span of an archive group or its part. It is compiled and made accessible to researchers in both the documentary and the digital forms. The archive or cultural/scientific institution, which keeps the described historical records and documents in the basic, secondary or central registrations of the National Archive Heritage, always preserves the relevant finding aid in documentary form.
- Basic: provisional inventory list,partial inventory,inventory, catalogue
- Special: index,thematic catalogue,list of documents,thematic index
- For reference: list of archive groups,description of an archive group,wizard/guide,edition
Provisional inventory list - basic list of all inventoried units of an archive group or its parts in the order based on the original arrangement of inventoried documents or in the order, created on the basis of other internal links among the inventoried units within an archived file with registration units cited, drafted for registration of the archived material and for orientation in its contents. It has title page and imprint.
Partial inventory - finding aid to a part of an archive group, which has the same essentials as the inventory. It is created for a well-ordered closed part of an archive group. Inventory numbers of individual partial inventories must be linked one to the other.
Inventory - basic list of all inventory units of a closed archive group in the order based on original arrangement of the inventoried documents, or in the order drafted on the basis of other internal links among inventoried units inside an archive group, with registration units cited. It is compiled for the registration of historical documents and their storage, and for orientation in the contents, time span and quantity of archived material. It contains title page, introduction with the list of used sources and literature, inventory list, indexes (if useful) and imprint. Integrated in it are also the contents and annexes to the introduction (registration plans, schemes of archive structure of the archive group, concordant tables of old and new pressmarks, lists of used abbreviations and conversion of older and foreign-language local names into contemporary forms etc.).
Clustered and group inventories - earlier drafted finding aids for more archive files whose creators had identical, related or similar competences of operation or the same place of activity. It contains common title page, common introduction or partial introductions to individual inventory lists, inventory lists of archive groups or indexes and common imprints. This type of aid shall no longer be made.
Catalogue - finding aid to an archive group or parts thereof, providing information on the contents and form of archived material. It has title page, contents and introduction, list of used literature, catalogue records, indexes and imprint extended by the number of catalogue entries.
Index - alphabetically arranged name index (personal, geographical or terminological) and subject index serving for detailed orientation in the contents of an archive group or a part thereof. It must have title page, introduction, contents, list of used literature, index records and imprint. As a separate finding aid it differs from the indexes to finding aids or parts thereof.
Thematic catalogue - list of individual archived documents created by catalogue records to a defined theme of one or more archive groups, with exact data where these are deposited. Thematic catalogue has all the essentials of a catalogue.
Thematic index - alphabetically arranged name index (personal, geographical or terminological) and subject index, compiled to a defined theme of one or more archive files, with information where the files are deposited. Thematic index has all the essentials of an index.
Description of an archive group (collection) - information in writing on the contents, creator, time span and quantitative extent, state of preservation, processing and alternatives of use for the archive group.
Wizard/guide - list of archive groups, descriptions of an archives (or sections thereof). It contains introduction with concise characteristics of the sphere in which the archives operate, information on the development and organization of the archives, descriptions of archive groups, information on the library and auxiliary apparatus (list of abbreviations, personal, geographical and subject index, list of used literature), possibly a picture attachment.
Edition - textual or pictorial reproduction of a document by defined rules. This is considered a finding aid only in the case if published in it is exclusively the archived material deposited in the archives that compiled it.
Non-arranged, arranged and inventoried archived documents
The footage is given for individual archive fonds (archive groups) in the form nezpracováno (N:) [non-arranged (N:)], zpracováno (Z:) [arranged (Z:)], z toho inventarizováno (I:) [thereof inventoried (I:)]; at that the inventoried archived documents are always understood as a subset of the arranged archived documents.
As arranged such archived documents are considered that are provided with at least a provisional inventory list.
As inventoried such archived documents are considered that are provided with a partial inventory, inventory, comprehensive and group inventories, catalogue, register, thematic catalogue, list of documents and thematic register.