The National Archives Catalog

Holdings Measurement Type

Mandatory Repeatable Data Type Authority Level Available A/V Only Public Element
Yes Yes Variable Character Length (30) Holdings Measurement Type List Series No Yes



The unit by which archival materials are counted physically for performance measures. The unit is either a physical container or physical entity. Examples of physical containers include legal-size or letter-size boxes, aerial film cans, cabinet drawers, and bound volumes. Physical entities include artifacts and logical data records.

Holdings Measurement Type and Holdings Measurement Count are related to Extent. Both aim to measure the intellectual bulk of the archival materials. Extent, being a narrative field, accommodates a wide range of units of measure, such as linear feet, pages, photographs, and so on. Extent is meant to communicate clearly to the user. For these reasons, however, the field cannot be automatically summed. By contrast, Holdings Measurement Type and Holdings Measurement Count, being controlled fields, can be combined to produce NARA-wide statistics about holdings.



Identifies each type of physical entity and/or the physical container in which the archival materials are stored. This field can be used by NARA to count the overall size of its holdings.



This element is dependent on Copy Status. Each copy of the archival materials must have a copy status specified to have Holdings Measurement Type. Holdings Measurement Type and Holdings Measurement Count are dependent on each other. For each type of holding in the series, Holdings Measurement Type and Holdings Measurement Count must both be included.



Choose the appropriate term from the Holdings Measurement Type Authority List.

  • For all archival materials, except electronic records and artifacts, choose the term that best describes the type of physical container in which the material is stored.
  • For electronic records, choose the term "Logical Data Record." A logical data record is a set of data processed as a unit by a computer system or application independently of its physical environment. Examples include: a word processing document, a spreadsheet, an email message, each row in each table of a relational database, each row in an independent logical file database.
  • For artifacts, choose the term "Artifact."

Count all material, but do not count the same material twice. For example, if artifacts are housed in boxes, count them only as artifacts. Do not record the type and amount of containers as well.


Holdings Measurement Type - MAP-1
Holdings Measurement Count - .5


Holdings Measurement Type - PHO-1
Holdings Measurement Count - 3


Holdings Measurement Type - LTA-S
Holdings Measurement Count - 267


Holdings Measurement Type - ARF
Holdings Measurement Count - 1000


Holdings Measurement Type - LDR
Holdings Measurement Count - 100000

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