Principled Action: Asserting Archival Principles to Reduce the RAC Backlog

Several years ago RAC faced a dilemma familiar to many in our profession – a daunting processing backlog that was growing exponentially and depriving scholar’s and staff of access to many of the records held in our collections. Our collections are great resources of knowledge, but only if those resources are available to our users!

To find a solution, we actively sought processing practices that reflect our values as an operating foundation, specifically the values of collaborating and sharing knowledge, disseminating information, promoting discovery in all its forms, and facilitating open and equitable access to all our archival holdings. Over the last year and a half, we shifted our strategy to processing by accession and implemented a standards-based approach which has been a resounding success thus far and has resulted in the processing and opening for research of over 4,500 cubic feet of records. This discussion will be the first in a series of posts about our processes and collaborations. I hope our experiences may be valuable and helpful to others. Continue reading

Born-Digital Workflows CURATEcamp Report

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for conferences! On Friday, Bonnie and I attended a Born-Digital Workflows CURATEcamp, held at the Brooklyn Historical Society. We gave a brief presentation on our workflows for arranging and descriping born-digital materials, and also learned a lot from other attendees. Continue reading

FTK Demo Day

This past Wednesday, we gathered all the archivists who do processing into the D-Lab and wowed them with a demo of the Forensic ToolKit (FTK) software.

I started with an overview of our processes for separating removable digital media from collections:

Then I gave an overview of the proposed workflow for working with that media: Continue reading

Unveiling ArchivesSpace

As you should all know by now, we will be transitioning from ATReference to ArchivesSpace in a couple of months. It has been a lengthy project, but we’re quickly approaching its final stages. As such, I wanted to give everyone a quick rundown of the final timeline and the work that we are doing to get us there.

Continue reading

OCLC Research Webinar: “Achieving Thresholds for Discovery: Addressing Issues with EAD to Increase Discovery and Access”

If, like me, you missed out on yesterday’s webinar from OCLC Research titled “Achieving Thresholds for Discovery: Addressing Issues with EAD to Increase Discovery and Access,” you can now view a recording of the presentation. It’s worth your time to listen to Merrilee Proffitt (OCLC Research) talk about her recent article on EAD tag analysis in the Code4Lib Journal, and also to listen to Dan Santamaria (Princeton University) talk about the work of his institution’s Archival Description Working Group in improving their archival description as well as their discovery system for archival materials. A few months back, I wrote about a presentation that Dan and others from Princeton gave at SAA this past August, and found that this webinar nicely complemented that earlier presentation.

Designing for Information Objects (edUI 2013)

One of the sessions I really enjoyed at this year’s edUI conference (for a broad recap of the conference, see my earlier post) was Designing for Information Objects, presented by Duane Degler (Design for Context) and Neal Johnson (National Gallery of Art). Although the presentation took place on the afternoon of the last day of the conference, by which time my brain was already past its saturation point, it was immediately apparent to me that there were some pretty important ideas in the presentation that deserved some detailed attention. In part, I wanted to write this post as a way to revisit that session now that I’ve had some time to recover from the conference overload. Continue reading