“Whether you use these forms exclusively, or whatever other forms you adopt, bear in mind that simplicity is paramount; and that forms exist to make work easier, not to add to it.” –Dennis Bodem, “The Use of Forms in the Control of Archives at the Accessioning and Processing Level,” The American Archivist 31, No. 4 (October 1968): 369.

This is more of a mundane topic, but one that does come up as a practical necessity. I am in the middle of updating and tweaking my own forms, so I thought I would share them here, as examples for others to use if they need them.

You can also search online for a particular type of form in order to see a wide variety available. Select institutions that are similar to yours for the best fit. There are not a lot of examples for school archives in particular, so use the ones that you find for colleges and universities as models. You can also contact local institutions to see if they will share their forms with you, since not all forms are available online.

Other places to gather ideas for forms:

  • Forms Forum from the Society of Georgia Archivists:
  • Standards and Best Practices Guide from the Society of American Archivists: 
  • OLDER: Archival Forms Manual. Chicago, Ill.: Society of American Archivists’ Forms Manual Task Force, 1982. Just be aware that this is an older resource, although the basic information collected tends to be the same. These will not include any digital references, however. The Table of Contents includes:
    • Appraisal and Disposition
      • Appraisal
      • Disposition
      • Transmittal Forms
    • Accessioning
      • Control Forms and Logs
      • Instruments of Gift
    • Arrangement and Description
      • Processing Control Forms
      • Separation Forms
      • Labels
    • Use
      • User Registration/Application Forms
      • Rules and Policy Statements
      • Records and Information Request Forms
    • Specialized Forms
      • Conservation
      • Loan Agreements
      • Loans and Charge-outs
      • Micro-Reproduction
      • Oral History
      • Photoduplication
      • Photographs
      • Prospective Donor Information
      • Solicitiations
      • Statistics Compilation
    • Bibliography of Archival Manuals

If you have a favorite source that I have not included here, please let me know!


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