Danish authorities used to send letters back and forth between them, each authority adding a letter or note to the same piece of paper, and thus creating a record with multiple letters on it. In some ways this kind of correspondence resembles today's group chats at Messenger. The piece of paper is one record, but it has multiple letters/notes on it and three authorities were involved.
Other elements to consider are:
- The record is a part of a collection of records for a paternity case filed with a diocese county - not a court, but a diocese county office. The diocese county office was allowed to make resolutions in such cases; only if an agreement could not be reached, the case would go to court.
- Most of these records have no title, but the case number is written on each record in the collection.
- The records have been moved to the Danish National Archives, where files for multiple cases are stored in the same box.
- The archive has filed the records in the collections of Haderslev Amt (county), but the authority handling the case was named Haderslev Stiftamt (diocese county) at that time.
I have come up with this reference note to be written on the photocopy:
Haderslev Stiftamt, Alm. journalsager [journal case files] 1920-1957, case: N.95-79/1930, Hansine Hansen v. Peter Petersen, "Haderslev Stiftamt, Odense Stiftamt, Svendborg Amt, correspondence, 3 January 1923 to 15 March 1933;" arkivskaber AA10: Haderslev Amt, arkivserie Alm. journalsager 1920-1957, pakke 261: 1930 N 95 60 - 1930 N 95 111; The Danish National Archives, Viborg.
Records at the Danish National Archives are arranged by arkivskaber (collection creator), arkivserie (record series) and pakke (box). Knowledge of all these elements are required to order the correct box. Each collection creator has both an ID (letters and numbers) and a name, for instance AA10 and Aarhus Amt. Each record series consists of several numbered boxes with their own label, in this case a year and a range of case numbers. In the reference note above, I have written these elements exactly as they are written on the box and in the catalog, including the abbreviation "Alm."
Apart from welcoming all comments about the reference note, I have these questions:
- Someone might be confused by the fact that the correspondence begins several years before the case number was assigned. This rarely happens. The office held a journal of cases in which a list of all in- and outgoing letters were recorded. This specific case was filed in 1921, but was very lengthy, so they ran out of space in 1930 and therefore transferred the case to a new case number in the journal for 1930. The case records are filed under the 1930 case number, so one does not have to know the original case number to find this specific document. Of course, I would add this explanation to a report about the case, but I have concluded that I do not have to add it to the reference note. Correct?
- The letter is a piece of paper which has been folded once, so that it has four pages, unnumbered. I want to make the reader aware of that when looking at the photocopy. Do I simply add "Page 1 of 4" to the copy, or how should I do that?
- If I were to cite a fact from one of the specific letters in this record, should I then add details about the specific letter written by one authority to another to the end of layer one in the reference note above, or add a new first layer with the elements of a historic letter?
Lene D. Kottal