Our policy is to acquire local archives, which are unique local records and documents of enduring value, originating from/relating to Cork city and county. 'Local archives' includes local government archives transferred from Council offices, and deposited archives that are privately donated, purchased, bequested, or loaned. (Note: archives from national government and state agencies are the responsibility of the National Archives of Ireland in Dublin).
Documents and records acquired can be digital or hard copy, and in any format, for example:
We do not, in general, acquire collections of published books, journals or magazines, although small numbers of these may form part of an acquired archive.
We do not, in general, acquire 3-D objects or archaeological artefacts.
In general, an archive comprises the original, unique, and irreplaceable, documents and records generated by an organisation or individual in the course of their activities, that are selected for preservation based on their enduring value, and then transferred to, or deposited in, the CCCA service. An archive can be corporate or personal, or it may comprise a diverse set of miscellaneous collected documents and ephemera. It is important to note that CCCA does not itself create the archives collections. Our role is to appraise, acquire, preserve, and carry out the professional archival processing and controls needed to keep archives secure, and appropriately accessible.
We preserve over 1300 individual archives. Many unique aspects of the social, political, commercial and cultural history of Cork are documented in our collections.
A new archive is accessioned as a collection into the CCCA. The process involves an archivist carrying out a full preservation, appraisal, and sensitive material/privacy/data protection assessment, the full documentation of provenance, content and physical and intellectual structure, cleaning, damage treatment, boxing and shelving or incorporation into digital storage. Items that are in poor condition are earmarked for professional conservation repair treatment. (See also: Richard Dowden's scrapbook project for an example of recent document conservation work)
The object of archival processing is to preserve both the physical, and intellectual, order and accessibility of an archive. Final processing takes place when an archive is fully listed and indexed and made available for research.