Archive catalogues are created after the collection has been processed. The EFDSS archive follows ISAD(G) descriptive standards (General International Standard Archival Description - 2nd Edition).
The organisation of archival catalogues follow a top down hierarchy. The levels of description are as follows...
Fonds level - is the highest level of description and is used to describe the entirety of a collection either created by an organisation or an individual. For example, in the Take 6 collections there are six fonds: one for each of the collectors.
Series level - gives description to groupings of individual types of documents within a collection. e.g. notebooks, meeting minutes, correspondence.
File level - gives a description of a physical organised unit of documents. e.g. bound volume, folder, notebook.
Item level - gives a description of an individual piece within the file level. e.g. a single page, or often in the case of the collections described ib Take 6 a single song.
Each description has a unique reference number, which starts with a code for the collector, typically their initials or a shortening of their last name (JHB for Janet Blunt, GG for George Gardiner, AGG for Anne Gilchrist, HAM for Henry Hammond, COL for Francis Collinson and GB for George Butterworth). This code on its own is the reference number given to the fonds level description.
Subsequent levels are numbered sequentially (1, 2, 3... and so on) and sometimes with letters as well as numbers (2a, 2b, 2c... and so on). These numbers are given after the Fonds level reference number, divided by slashes. For example AGG/1 is the first series within the Gilchrist collection, and AGG/1/3 is the third file within that series, and AGG/1/3/3B is a song in that file.