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Accessioning is the name given to the formal process which documents the transfer of a collection from client repository or other source to the Ballast Trust for storage and/or processing.

It is one of the most important steps as the information created and captured at the accessioning stage will help to shape how the collection is managed and processed.

Until recently the Ballast Trust has only used a paper accessions register and no system of accession reference numbers was in place. This can cause confusion when we have received several different collections related to the same company - its hard to know what bit of the Scotts collection we are talking about.

As its one of the first steps involved in processing an archive collection it was the first part of the new procedure manual that I wanted to think about and produce. So now in addition to an accessions register we have full details kept on our database (Archivists' Toolkit) and a centralised filing system to file any related documentation in either electronic or paper based.

The next step for the procedure manual will be to develop a template collection agreement to outline what the client repositories want done to collections when they are sent to the Ballast Trust to help ensure that everyone knows what they are doing!

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