Created: 09 April 2017
I’ve mapped current RecordSearch functions onto the top-level functions in AGIFT3. This was necessary because the functions in RecordSearch are a bit of a mess, with top-level functions added for no discernable reason. That left me with 23 groups of functions.
I then found the agencies that performed these functions, and the series that the agencies created while they were performing these functions. I made sure a series only appeared once within each function group. I then added up the quantity of records (in shelf metres), the number of items described, and the number of items digitised, for every series associated with a function group. I ended up with the following results.
|Top-level function||Number of series||Quantity (shelf metres)||Items described||Items digitised|
|BUSINESS SUPPORT AND REGULATION||963||8675.33||116158||2055|
|EDUCATION AND TRAINING||1907||7853.72||540258||66448|
|SPORT AND RECREATION||496||2047.91||33462||2873|
Of course there are numerous problems with this data. Perhaps most importantly, not all records in a series will be associated with the perfomance of a particular function. But short of harvesting the whole of RecordSearch, I think it provides a reasonable starting point. I’m also still not sure that I’ve found all of the functions that are currently in use. As I was preparing this data, I noticed that some ‘unpreferred’ terms are nonetheless being used. Sigh. So expect further updates…
Anyway, here’s a first attempt to plot the results. You can see how functions such as ‘Defence’, ‘Immigration’, and ‘Security’, are described and digitised at a much higher rate than other areas.
I thought I’d make a quick attempt to see how the the holdings of the National Archives look when viewed through these different dimensions, so I created some basic wordclouds.
Of course the point of all this is to explore how decisions around things like description and digitisation change what we ‘see’. More about that soon…