What are Collections?
The term collection is used in many different ways. Some examples:
- a set of archival or (more commonly) manuscript materials
- materials assembled by a person, organization, or repository from a variety of sources; an artificial collection
- (sometimes pl., collections) a thematic aggregation of sets of otherwise unrelated archival materials
- (also pl., collections) the holdings of a repository, taken as a whole
- the process and practice of collecting archival materials
The word collection is one of the many fraught terms in archives. The term bears the weight of many, and sometimes contradictory, meanings, but it remains a heavily used term, and there is a good reason it is so: because, everything in an archives, in the end, is collected by archivists—or foisted upon it by a higher power. Everyone uses the term, but many hate it. To the purist, the term collection appears to suggest the archivist assembles archives from scraps rather than appraises the records the archives acquires. To the manuscripts librarian, the term may suggest every collection is an artificial collection—since, indeed, many are.
Credit: This work contains some material sourced from Dictionary of Archives Terminology
While Pingry's digital holdings are vast (well north of 500,000 unique objects), its traditional collections are equally as impressive. Featuring everything from negatives to newspapers, clothing to catalogs, paintings, pamphlets, scrapbooks, slides and so much more, a member of our community looking to do research on the school's history will have their hands full.
Click HERE to browse the complete collection of inventories and finding aids to get a better idea of our holdings.
The Pingry School Archives houses historical materials, images, information, videos, etc. that may be considered offensive or sensitive according to modern standards. These items reflect the attitudes of the times they were created. The items are preserved and retained to adequately represent the historical record of the Pingry School.