Since writing my post of 12 October regarding the arrangement of the archive, you will be pleased to hear that I have finally decided on a basic arrangement for the collection. I have also decided to have seperate sub-groups within the overall catalogue for the records purely associated with the subsidiary companies. Phew! Now it's time to catalogue.
During the past fortnight I have been cataloguing the corporate and share records of the company. I am reliably informed by my more expert colleague Sarah, that these two categories of records are usually quite straightforward. I, therefore, approached these records with supreme confidence until I remembered that I have absolutely no idea what debentures, share certificates and articles of association are and what purposes they serve! After a quick trawl of some reliable internet sites I was now armed to face these records with my arsenal of knowledge and renewed vigour only to be reminded that Chance are not your everyday, run-of-the-mill company. They liked to change things...a lot.
For instance, take the memorandum and articles of association, the two documents that when combined form the constitution of a company (see, my arsenal is honed and ready). Most companies tend to amend these documents rarely and there are usually only a few of these documents in a business collection. In the case of Chance, the company seems to have amended the documents at least 13 times from 1888 to 1955. To complicate things even further, there are many duplicate copies of each edition of the documents. Normally, these duplicates would be removed, however, some copies have interesting notes and attachments scribbled and stapled by their previous owners. All of these copies, therefore, must be kept to maintain these variations in the records.
After a fortnight of piecing these two puzzles together I now feel confident that I have finished cataloguing both the corporate and share records of the company and that I can move on to the more cumbersome employment and financial records.....no wait.....is that another share certificate hidden under that stack of files over there.......?