CRS Manual - Previous and subsequent series

Previous series

Definition

The previous is a series that directly precedes another series in documenting a particular function or activity.

Purpose

Previous series information provides staff and users with a path for retrieving earlier records with a common function or purpose.

Relative importance

This field should be completed where applicable, to provide additional context (category 3). It is important in placing the series being registered in its recordkeeping context. It is possible to refer to unregistered previous series in the unregistered links note.

Sources of information

Examination of the records, consultation with agencies, analysis of the recordkeeping system to which the series being registered belongs.

Standards for content

There can be one or more previous series. The attribute consists of transmission date (optional), previous series number title and comments (optional), eg:

For A446

Previous series:
1953: A2998 Correspondence files [Restricted Immigration], annual single number series

For A425

Previous series:
1976: A3930 Correspondence files, annual single number series - for consumer affairs

Amendments

New previous series should be added if activities or functions are passed to the series from another series.

Whenever updating previous series information, check any unregistered previous series to determine whether they have subsequently been registered - if so, delete the entry in the Unregistered Links Note and update the registered previous series linkage.

For data input purposes the previous and subsequent relationship need only be entered once.

Application notes

While any number of series documenting a particular function or activity over time could be regarded as previous to a later series, in practice, only series that directly precede other series are included in registrations.

A Previous Series entry in a registration should only be made when you are satisfied that there is a definite functional link between series recorded by the same or different agencies.

A previous series may have documented only the same function as the later series, or may have documented that function together with other functions or activities not transmitted to the later series. A series may have one or more previous series which, in turn, may have one or more subsequent series. It is possible for a series to be previous to another series more than once over a period of time. In such cases, indicate each relationship and provide a transmission date for each relationship.

A continuing series can be a previous series if one or more of the activities which it documents have been transmitted to the series being described.

Most previous series will have an end date just before the start date of the series being registered, however, some will be found to be active at the same time. This occurs where, for example, as part of the administrative process, one series is continuously previous to another, that is, items in one series routinely may be top-numbered into another series, or documents are simply moved between series after a defined event:

For C21, Personal case files, single number series with 'J' prefix, 1919 -

Previous record series:
1970: A3590 Correspondence files, single number series with 'G3' prefix
Files in the 'G3' series related to initial inquiries. After lodgement of a formal application, the papers were top-numbered into the 'J' series.
Transmission date

The transmission date for a previous series is the date (preferably the month and year) that the series became a previous series to the later series, that is, the series now being registered, updated or viewed.

Expression of dates

All dates in predetermined date fields are subject to validation to facilitate searching, sorting, validations and consistency in reports. It is not necessary to enter day, month and year if the full date is not known. Use a date qualifier only if the year is in doubt. (Unless notes are kept to indicate the part or parts of the date to which a qualifier applies, the use of the qualifier can be misleading, especially when just year ranges and qualifiers are presented in reports.)

Transmission date conventions

Transmission date qualifier

(only if year is in doubt)

circa

by

Transmission date

1952

May 1952

23 May 1952

The main purpose of the transmission date is to indicate when a function ceased to be documented in one series and commenced in another. If there is no indication of this date, while users will be aware that a previous/subsequent relationship existed between the series they will have to determine when the transmission occurred themselves. The transmission date is also used as a basis for sorting, where there are multiple entries for previous series.

In RecordSearch there is a reciprocal linkage of previous/subsequent relationships. This means that entering a relationship between Series B and its previous series, Series A, will automatically cause Series B to be given as a subsequent series to Series A.

There is one transmission date to cover the previous/subsequent relationship. Usually the transmission of a function between two series will occur without any gap in time, and one date will seem appropriate to both series. However, a gap of greater than two years will not be accepted and reference needs to be made in the Series Descriptive Note.

The following diagram may help to clarify the position.

In the second case in the example:

Series A ceases in 1950 when action on a certain function/activity is suspended. In 1952, the function is reactivated, but is documented in Series B, which commences in 1952. Series A is previous to Series B as of 1952, as the relationship cannot pre-date the existence of the later series. However, 1952 is two years after the cessation of Series A and this date information is potentially confusing to some readers. Such gaps are limited to two years to minimise the potential for confusion. If a gap of more than two years is inserted the validation process will indicate that there is an error. If there is a gap in excess of two years describe the particulars in the descriptive note.
Comments

Use the Comments field to indicate the significant function(s) being transmitted between previous and subsequent series, particularly if different agencies are involved, for example, as a result of administrative change. Do not refer to functions that were not transferred between the series.

Some analysis will be required to determine the nature and extent of the relationship between the series, and to supply a brief comment. In some cases a comment may be unnecessary because the nature of the functions or activities documented is clear from the series titles.

Where all functions documented in one series are subsequently documented in another, do not enter a comment, since its meaning can be ambiguous if the subsequent series covers more functions than just those transmitted.

Where one of several functions documented in a series is subsequently documented in another series, an appropriate comment would be:

Comments: for interstate transport

In general, use the broad function terms contained in Administrative Arrangements Orders, Agencies' program statements, Government Directories and the Archives' CRS Thesaurus. Check that an indication of the various functions documented in the series is included in the Series Descriptive Note.

Where a comment is made it will need to apply to both relationships and not be ambiguous, since the links are reciprocal in RecordSearch. To test the effect of any comments, read each of the registrations affected as they would appear to users of the finding aids. Make amendments if the comments for one or both of the related registrations is wrong or confusing. In some cases it may be best to omit the comment and explain the situation in the Series Descriptive Note.

Top-numbering

The previous history of top-numbered items in a new series should be explained, if not self-evident, in the Series Descriptive Note of the new and old series registrations (where the series are already registered) in addition to a brief comment in the Previous Series field. A comment should be included if there has been substantial top-numbering from one series to another, eg

Comments: continuous top-numbering

Where there has been top-numbering from a portion only of the series, this should be recorded, eg

Comments: top-numbering (portion relating to consumer affairs)
Documenting unregistered previous series

Only document an unregistered link between series where knowledge of the unregistered series provides important recordkeeping context, but for some reason the series cannot yet be registered, or is outside the Archives' sphere of operations; for example a State Government series that is previous to a Commonwealth Government series, but which remains with the State Government. If important to the series, enter information under an appropriate heading in the Series Descriptive Note.

Do not use unregistered links entries to save time or avoid the registration process for series that should be registered according to the Archives' policies. Nor should the unregistered linkage entries be used for information that is unconfirmed: include this kind of information in the Series Descriptive Note, where an explanation may be given.

Relationship to ISAD(G): 3.5.3

 

Subsequent series

Definition

A subsequent series is a series that directly succeeds another series in documenting a particular function or activity.

Purpose

Subsequent series information provides staff and users with a path for retrieving later records with a common function or purpose.

Relative importance

This field should be completed where applicable, to provide additional context (category 3). It is important in placing the series being registered in its recordkeeping context. Note that it is possible to refer to unregistered subsequent series in the unregistered links note.

Sources of information

Information can be obtained from examination of the records, consultation with agencies, and analysis of the recordkeeping system to which the series being registered belongs.

Standards for content

There can be one or more subsequent series. The entry consists of transmission date (optional), previous series number, title and comments (optional). Typical examples:

For B105

Subsequent series:
1982: A8511 Correspondence files, annual single number with 'SD' [Staff Development] prefix

For A106

Subsequent series:
1916: A1 Correspondence files, annual single number series - for elections, meteorology, lands and surveys, and property acquisition, disposal and rental

Amendments

Subsequent Series entries should be added if activities or functions are passed onto another series. This will normally occur when the series ends but can occur during its life.

When updating subsequent series information, check any unregistered subsequent series to determine whether they have subsequently been registered - if so, delete the entry in the Unregistered Links Note and update the registered subsequent series linkage. Information about a previous or subsequent relationship need only be entered once.

Application notes

While any number of series documenting a particular function or activity over time could be regarded as subsequent to a previous series, in practice, only series that directly succeed other series are included in registrations.

Include a Subsequent Series entry in a registration only if you are satisfied that there is a definite functional link between series recorded by the same or different agencies.

A subsequent series may document only the same function as the previous series, or may document that function together with other functions or activities not transmitted from the previous series. A series may have one or more subsequent series which, in turn, may have one or more previous series.

It is possible for a series to be subsequent to another series more than once over a period of time. In such cases, indicate each relationship and provide a transmission date for each relationship.

Most subsequent series will have a start date just after the end date of the series being registered, however, you will find some that are active at the same time. This occurs where, for example, as part of the administrative process, one series is continuously subsequent to another, that is, items in one series routinely may be top-numbered into another series, eg

For A3590, Correspondence files, single number series with 'G3' prefix, 1970-

Subsequent series:
1970: C21 Personal case files, single number series with 'J' prefix
Files in the 'G3' series related to initial inquiries. After lodgement of a formal application, the papers were top-numbered into the 'J' series.
Transmission date

The transmission date for a subsequent series is the date (preferably the month and year) that the series became a subsequent series to the earlier series, that is, the series now being registered, updated or viewed.

Expression of dates

All dates in predetermined date fields are subject to validation to facilitate searching, sorting, validations and consistency in reports. It is not necessary to enter day, month and year if the full date is not known. Use a date qualifier only if the year is in doubt. (Unless notes are kept to indicate the part or parts of the date to which a qualifier applies, the use of the qualifier can be misleading, especially when just year ranges and qualifiers are presented in reports.)

Transmission date conventions

Transmission date qualifier

(only if year is in doubt)

circa

by

Transmission date

1952

May 1952

23 May 1952

The main purpose of the transmission date is to indicate when a function ceased to be documented in one series and commenced in another. If there is no indication of this date users will be aware that a previous/subsequent relationship existed between the series, but they will have to determine when the transmission occurred themselves. The transmission date is also used as a basis for sorting, where there are multiple entries for the attribute.

In RecordSearch there is a reciprocal linkage of previous/subsequent relationships. This means that entering a relationship between Series A and its subsequent series, Series B, will automatically cause Series A to be given as a previous series to Series B.

There is one transmission date to cover the previous/subsequent relationship. Usually the transmission of a function between two series will occur without any gap in time, and one date will seem appropriate for both series. However, there can be an apparent error for one of the relationships if there is any gap in the dates between the two series in relation to the function being documented. The following diagram may help to clarify the position.

In the second case in the example:

Series A ceases in 1950 when action on a certain function is suspended. In 1952, the function is reactivated, but is documented in Series B, which commences in 1952. Series B is subsequent to Series A from 1952. (The relationship cannot pre-date the existence of the later series.) However, 1952 is two years after the cessation of Series A and this date information is potentially confusing to some readers. Such gaps are limited to two years to minimise the potential for confusion. If a gap of more than two years is inserted the validation process will indicate that there has been an error. If the gap exceeds two years describe the particulars in the descriptive note.
Comments

Use the Comments field to indicate the significant function(s) being transmitted between previous and subsequent series, particularly if different agencies are involved, for example, as a result of administrative change. Do not refer to functions that were not transferred between the series.

Some analysis will be required to determine the nature and extent of the relationship between the series, and to supply a brief comment. In some cases you may consider that a comment is unnecessary because the nature of the functions or activities documented is clear from the series titles.

Where all functions documented in one series are subsequently documented in another, do not enter a comment, since its meaning can be ambiguous if the subsequent series covers more functions than just those transmitted.

Where one of several functions documented in a series is subsequently documented in another series, an appropriate comment would be:

Comments: for interstate transport

In general, use the broad function terms used in Administrative Arrangements Orders, Agencies' program statements, Government Directories and the Archives' CRS Thesaurus. Check that the various functions documented in the series are mentioned in the Series Descriptive Note.

Where a comment is made it will need to apply to both relationships and not be ambiguous, since the links are reciprocal in RecordSearch. To test the effect of any comments, read each of the registrations affected as they would appear to users of the finding aids. Make amendments if the comments for one or both of the related registrations is wrong or confusing. In some cases it may be best to omit the comment and explain the situation in the Series Descriptive Note.

Top-numbering

Explain the subsequent history of top-numbered items in an old series, if it is not self-evident, in the Series Descriptive Note of the new and old series registrations (where the series are already registered) in addition to a brief comment in the Subsequent Series field. Include a comment if there has been substantial top-numbering from one series to another, eg

Comments: continuous top-numbering

Where there has been top-numbering from a portion only of the series, record it in the comments field, eg:

Comments: top-numbering (portion relating to consumer affairs)
Documenting unregistered subsequent series

Only document an unregistered link between series in cases where knowledge of the unregistered series provides important recordkeeping context, but for some reason the series cannot yet be registered, or is outside the Archives' sphere of operations; for example, a State Government series that is subsequent to a Commonwealth Government series. If important to the series, enter information under the appropriate subheading in the Series Descriptive Note.

Do not use unregistered links entries to save time or to avoid the registration process for series that should be registered according to the Archives' policies. Nor should the unregistered links note be used for information that is unconfirmed: a more appropriate area for this kind of information is the Series Descriptive Note, where an explanation may be given.

Relationship to ISAD(G): 3.5.3