An archival collection is typically arranged in two ways: intellectually and physically. The intellectual and physical arrangements represent two distinct ways of organizing archival materials that exist simultaneously.
Intellectual arrangement applies to the information contained in an archival collection, and necessitates an understanding of the intellectual relationship(s) between the many disparate papers in a collection.
Physical arrangement refers to the physical order of the materials in the collection - how and where they are housed and stored. Unlike intellectual arrangement, physical arrangement is determined by the size, shape, type, and housing needs of the various records, regardless of the information provided therein.