The archives must in the first instance be accessioned. There are various methods of accessioning but the basics are the same. Accessioning is the process of receiving archives and bringing them into the repository. At one end it requires that the physical condition be ascertained, that issues requiring urgent attention be attended to such as in those circumstances where the physical condition is very poor or critical, that where there is infestation of some sort, such as with lice, that fumigation be carried out to avoid transferring into the archives storage area those very enemies of the archives. It is also required that a record be created of the archives to reflect the details of the archives received. Whether such details are carried in an accession register or by some other means, the essential details will include the provenance of the archives, some description and indication of content, a quantification of the volume, an indication of the period covered, details of access conditions and of the storage location. Where the archives are not immediately processed there may be an indication of the processing priority. In many cases the archives are held in a holding area pending their detailed arrangement and description but practices here will differ dependent to some degree on the extent of the processing backlog. The importance of accessioning is evident. If access to the archives should be required in this interim period then at least the whereabouts of the archives are known and they can be retrieved and made available. For decision makers this is an important requirement for they cannot afford at any time to lose contact with the archives. On the part of the archivist, it is equally essential that the archives be speedily processed to facilitate archives. Without exception if archives must for a period be stored before arrangement and description then a mechanism for making the presence of these archives known to the users must be available.
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