The archival holdings of every archive are arranged according to the principle of provenance (after latin provenire, i. e. to come into being). Applying this principle, means to assume that every agency of an organisation produces records and that it files them according to a defined arrangement system. The archive forms holdings out of the records from this agency and adopts as well as maintains - whenever possible - the agency's order.
By applying the principle of origin, the archive avoids to file the archivlia according to a complex system of ordering, i. e. according the principle of pertinence - a task, which it usually cannot fulfill due to the lack of personal ressources. By working in this way, the archive circumvents at the same time the problem to adapt its arrangement system to the - from its point of view - fast changes of world views, on which their are based on, or even to develop new systems according to modern perspectives and questions. Furthermore, the archive escapes the task to reorganise its holdings according to these new insights, which can be accomplished every time only with considerable efforts.
As an archive user you benefit from the work of the archive with the principle of provenance, since you obtain a persistent access to its documents. Moreover, you receive information about the creation of records, about the work of the agency which has created them and about its history. However, by applying this principle you are requested to put aside your user expectations and habits, which are shaped by the use of libraries and internet search engines, when you are working in the archive. In fact, your are expected to orientate towards the archive's own ordering system.