Respect du fonds

Last night I taught my class about the archival theory and concept of respect du fonds, a concept and practice of France, where they kept related series of archival French government record collections together (even tied together) as they were created by purpose, by the creator, for a purpose, and for retrieval and future use. For example all tax records together, by city, by year, for ease of storage and later retrieval. This is a practice dating to the Roman period, a pattern of record keeping which the Catholic Church and Catholic Europe continued, which has become part of modern archival theory. Respect du fonds is one of the big three theories on which all later archival theory is based, the other two being the concepts of original order and provenance.

These are copies in our Detroit (Mich.) Collection, 1672, 1858, of documents which were copied by hand from the French Archives, which is clearly stated on the documents. These are in French. They include materials by/about French Canada and Michigan, such as letters and reports.  The records are kept together by colored ribbons, binding related materials together. Other records in the collection are in English.

Here is one example with a larger and smaller size document that are related which are tied together by a ribbon.
1 folder of numbered documents, showing different colored ribbons holding like topic materials together, just as they were kept in the French Archives. This style continues the original way the materials were created and stored.


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