Most of the diocesan archives held in the Lichfield Record Office have been classified in three sections:
A: Administration C: Court V: Visitation
These letters are preceded by B for bishop. The records of the archdeaconries (A) and some of the peculiars (P) have also been classified in this way, with some modifications (see pages 50 and 59). The first number in document reference codes usually denotes the record series or type, whilst subsequent numbers denote the individual items within series. Thus B/A/1 is the code for the whole series of bishops' registers, whilst B/A/1/1 is the code for the first register in the series.
In 1964, a group of records, clearly relating to the diocesan administration and not to that of the Dean and Chapter, was transferred from the Cathedral Library to the then Lichfield Joint Record Office. This group was miscellaneous in content, including types of document not otherwise represented in the diocesan records. These records were listed as a separate group in the predecessor of this Guide, but now descriptions of each series appear in their appropriate places in the classification scheme with their references codes prefixed by "Ex D & C". This must always be quoted when ordering or citing these documents, since they have been separately catalogued. It is now easier, therefore, to see at a glance the office's holdings of a particular type of record, such as subscription books (B/A/4), regardless of their ultimate provenance.
Some diocesan records have also been received from other sources and were not included in the cataloguing scheme outlined above. Those held in the Lichfield Record Office on deposit have reference codes in the form of D followed by a number (e.g. D137), whilst those acquired by gift or purchase simply have a number (e.g. 271).
It should be noted that the counterparts of certain diocesan record series such as marriage licence allegations and bonds are to be found among the records of the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield and of peculiars, which were areas exempt from the bishop's jurisdiction but performing many of the same functions.
After the main record descriptions, details are given of any available calendars, transcripts, analyses and specialised indexes. These add to the information contained in the general series of Lichfield Record Office catalogues. Calendars are detailed abstracts of records which can generally be used instead of the originals, whilst transcripts are complete reproductions of the text of the originals. Analyses are detailed interpretations of the data contained in the records. Calendars, transcripts and analyses are to be found in a variety of published and unpublished sources. Reference is also made to other guides to records published by the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service.