Archon Accessions Manager

Always use this wiki page instead of a previous accession record as a model as some procedures and practices have evolved and changed since the SCRC began using the Accessions Manager in summer 2009.

Swem Library’s Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) began using the Archon database to manage the University Archives and Manuscript Collections in 2007. This page provides information about preferred language, local standards, and implementation of the Accessions Manager module. Staff should be well-versed in using the public and staff interfaces of Archon before being given Accessions Manager responsibilities.
The Accessioning and Processing Manual guides the SCRC's practices in the Accessions Manager. The Archon User Manual provides information about the use of Archon's Collection Manager module in the SCRC.The Accessions Manager is used to record basic descriptive information about recently received and/or unprocessed materials. Accessions can be entered, edited, and linked to existing collection records. The accessions area includes two modules: Accessions Manager and Processing Priorities Manager. The SCRC is presently not using the Processing Priorities Manager. The SCRC is not using the Accessions Manager for the backlog.

New Accessions

  1. Assign an accession number from the Excel spreadsheet on the L-drive. The spreadsheet will include the accession number, brief title, physical extent (in cu.ft.) and note if the accession is an addition to an existing collection.
  2. In the staff interface of Archon, click on the right arrow tab on the upper left-hand side of the screen just below "Archon Module."
  3. Click on "Accessions" tab and then click on "Accessions Manager" tab.
  4. Click the "New" tab, which will bring you to the "General" tab of the Accessions Manager


  1. Enable Web Output: Select whether to allow web output or not. Note that there are several fields in the Accessions Manager that will never be visible to the public. Accessions for which web access should always be disabled are temporary accessions (anything with a "T" accession number) and tentative accessions (which are those awaiting the signed Deed of Gift). All other examples of accessions to be considered for disabling web access should be discussed by the Appraisal and Processing Committee (APC).
  2. Accession Date: This is the date the accession is actually entered into the database, not the date the accession was received.The date should be in month/date format (ex. 8/24/2010).
  3. Title: Enter the title of the collection. Example: Peter Bell Papers, Department of Magical Beasts Records, etc.
  4. Identifier: This is the accession number.
  5. Inclusive Dates: Insert years (it is understood that those might change, especially for large collections that cannot be fully surveyed at this point).
  6. Received Extent: Enter the size of the collection in cubic feet (it is understood that the extent might change, once the collection has been fully processed and re-housed)..
  7. Unprocessed Extent: In most cases, staff will change this field immediately to zero because either:
    • the accession will right away receive its own collection record in Archon (which happens even if we will only minimally process and add collection to the projects list)
    • or the new accession is an addition and thus will be added to an existing collection's record.
    • Note on public display: If a web-enabled accession has a value other than zero in the Unprocessed Extent field, it will display to the public in search results as well as within the associated collection record.
    • Note on staff display: Regardless of the value in the Uprocesed Extenet field, all web-enabled Accession Manager records will appear in search results and in the associated collection records in the staff view.
  8. Material Type: Choose Papers, Records, or Collection. For additions to artifical collections, choose 'Collection' regardless of nature of item..
  9. Processing Priority & Completion Date: Do not assign. The SCRC is not currently using this module.
  10. Click "Save."

Creator Information

Do not add for most accessions. Add creator(s) for tentative accessions or those accessions, which will not immediately be used to create a collection record.

Location Information

Do not add for most accessions. Do add location information for tentative accessions or those accessions, which will not immediately be used to create a collection record.


Do not add for most accessions. Add subject(s) for tentative accessions or those accessions, which will not immediately be used to create a collection record at the discretion of the archivist.

Collections/Classifications Information

Use only if the new accession is an addition to an existing Archon record, making sure to click "Save" after each associated collection. Because the accession is a new collection, it will not be associated with an existing collection. For accessions which are additions to existing collections, see the instructions below.

Donor Information

  1. Donor: Enter donor's name.
  2. Donor Contact Info: Enter all known contact information for the donor including mailing address, email, phone number, etc. In the case of a purchase, enter: "Ebay Purchase." or other dealer name:, "Purchased from Swann Auctions." etc. Note: This field does not display to the public for web-enabled accession records.
  3. Donor Notes: Enter other applicable donor information including delivery and receipt information in this field. This field does not display to the public for web-enabled accession records. Examples:
    1. College of William and Mary Professor of Magical Beasts.
    2. Donor delivered to the SCRC on 10/01/01.
    3. Received via campus mail on 10/01/01.
    4. Received via US mail on 10/01/01
  4. Click "Save"

Accession Description

  1. Physical Description: This field is generally not used except in cases when special considerations/care are needed because of the condition of the material upon receipt. For example, if there is the material is in need of cleaning due to dry mold or other issue, special housing not routinely done by the SCRC, etc. This field is used for all accessions of new artifacts and audiovisual materials because their physical condition is noted as a routine part of the description process.
  2. Scope Content: This field does not automatically copy to the Collection Manager when a new record is created, so generally it should not be used for new accessions. The description of single items for artificial collections (artifacts, audiovisuals, ephemera, etc.) should be added to this field as well as the appropriate item/folder in the Content Manager (which is where teh public will see the description).
  3. Comments: Examples of appropriate information:
    1. "Awaiting Deed of Gift for this and the previous accession, 2007.92."
    2. "Deed of gift received with previous accession applies to this accession."
  4. Click "Save"


  1. For accessions other than tentative accessions or additions to existing collections, you will immediately convert this accession record into a collection record. To do so, click "Create Collection Record." Note it is located next to the "Delete" button, so stay alert! A pop-up box will appear in Archon asking if you are sure. Click "Yes." You will then be taken to the newly created record for the collection in the Collection Manager. You will then proceed through the collection record fields entering the appropriate information as explained in the Archon User Manual.
  2. For accessions which are additions to existing collections, you have previously associated the accession with a collection (#13 above). Update the following fields in the collection record using the guidelines and sample text provided here or in the Archon User Manual:
    1. Dates
    2. Extent
    3. Add the Location completing all appropriate fields. Example: 2nd floor--being processed
    4. Creator (if a different creator)
    5. Collection > Scope: Add description of accession from Scope Content field in Accessions Manager.
    6. Collection > Arrangement: Include a note if the addition is arranged separately, is not yet arranged and described, etc.
    7. Subjects, Genres, Languages, Restrictions, Custodial History, Processing Information, Revision History: Update as appropriate.
    8. Acquisition Information > Acquisition Method: Include the following statement in this field to alert staff and researchers that there is additional acquisition information available for this collection. Note that acquisition information is only viewable by staff signed in after an accession's Unprocessed Extent is marked as zero.
      • "Acquisition information for material received after 7/13/2009 is available by consulting a Special Collections Research Center staff member."