Personal Papers and Business/Organization Records: Finding Aids
Because collections of personal papers and business and organizational records may contain thousands of documents it is not usually possible to individually describe every item. Generally collections are described by author or collector, location, and the subjects covered in the collection. If an item is particularly unique or significant it may be cataloged individually.
At the Kansas State Historical Society, a variety of archival finding aids are used, depending on the nature of the collection, the types of documents contained in it, the time period in which it was arranged and described, and the level of processing that has been assigned to it. For some collections, each document has been cataloged, but most collections have been described at the series or collection level. This means that the descriptions are collective: a body of material has been described as a group with common characteristics, topics, and locations noted.
The types of finding aids used to describe holdings at the Kansas State Historical Society include: