March 25, 2010
If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you know what a strange organization we have in our archives. We are now trying to address the problem, first by determining what we have that are actually college records.
Right now all of “archives” is labeled as the Geneva Collection. It has been defined as a whole as things having to do with the Colleges’ history, or the history of the local area. Parts of the collection are
- cataloged and barcoded and on book shelves [some published, some in notebooks]
- G mss file: items in folders arranged by “call no.” in document boxes
- G phot file: two filing cabinets of photographs that are in the process of being digitized and added to Voyager, the library online catalog
- G pro file: programs
- G al file: alumni information and publications
- G fac file: faculty publications
- G let file: letters
- G inv file: invitations
- G #ed collections: which are larger manuscript collections keep in file boxes
The problem is that what would be considered college records are just mixed in with everything else.
We are in the process of redefining the Geneva Collection to be published materials. Having just finished an inventory, I am trying to identify and pull unpublished materials [i.e. committee minutes in binders] out of that collection.
I see much moving of stuff in the future for my student workers.
January 15, 2009
With a new library director we get the chance to look at everything we are doing with fresh eyes. Vince Boisselle has background in archives and special collections, so his fresh eyes are particularly helpful.
Since I came into the position with library no archives background I changed very little of the real organization. Everything in here is part of the Geneva Collection. That includes books dealing with the colleges and local history, mss files that could be pretty much anything, alumni files, program files, and faculty files (all of those cataloged as individual items and in folders in document boxes. On top of that are individual collections, like the Myler Half-Dime Novels, the Saga Corporation Archives…
Shall we move towards classing everything that is the historical record of the Colleges as a different collection? Start pulling individual items into artificial collections for ease of use? Some of them may have originally been collections that were separated of individual cataloging and classification.
It looks like we will put a greater emphasis on the rare book collection. I’m very excited about that, I’ve always wanted to learn more about what we have.
If all or any of you have any great insights to pass along. I’d love to hear them.
June 24, 2008
I’ve decided that moving is actually a good thing, even if it is a lot of work. We are discovering stuff that was so deeply buried it hadn’t surfaced in the 5 years I’ve been here.
Using colored dots to color code the four collections are in document boxes is turning out to be such a great idea, I wonder that I didn’t think of it years ago. The four collections are mss, programs, alumni and faculty. For 5 years I’ve been explaining to my new student workers where one stops and the next one starts. Now it is obvious: mss=green, pro=red, al=yellow, fac=blue. Since they will be numbered as well the chances are good that a box will get back to the right home. So often the simplest changes can make such a difference.
June 3, 2008
Where did that year go?
Learning Commons construction is well under way. It looks great upstairs because a whole wall of windows, previously unseen in the main library, are now seen by the world. It makes the whole space look much more alive.
I’m busy making plans for moving the Archives collections. Almost everything will have to be moved. I’m trying to make sure that as little as possible will have to be moved more than once. I’m thinking of numbered, colored stickers on the document boxes to make sure they get back in the right order.
There were many folders of baccalaureate essays that were on warehouse shelving that got moved to lateral files, thanks to the help of Pauline, Karen and Ginny (awesome library staff members). I was exhausted and took a week off. When I returned they were all moved. I’d never make it without them!
November 2, 2007
I forgot to add the need for environmental control. I’ve been tracking and when they turned on the heat the humidity dropped from an average of 65% to an average of 35%. Not good.
October 30, 2007
I can’t believe I’ve been such a slacker about blogging. Sorry.
We are beginning the process of planning for a Learning
Commons here in the library. This means that lots of
things will be moved, and here will be less space for current
(traditional) library needs.
Sara Greenleaf, interim director, has asked us to beginning
thinking about our space needs. Here are the beginnings
of my thoughts.
I would be glad for input from any of you.
Desk; Computer desk; Computer (two screens) / Printer / Adobe Pro 8.0; At least 3 outlets; Bookcase; Spike (archives security guard)
Workspace for 2
2 computers/1 scanner
At least 3 outlets
Space for collection processing
Space for preservation activities (Phase box making; Encapsulation; Supplies; Paper cutter)
Workspace for at least 2
At least 2 outlets
Near card catalog
Supplies for preservation and processing
Near student workers
Another flat file
frequent access needed (Mss; Pro;Al; Fac; Unscanned phot; Yearbooks; Catalogs; H Books)
Less frequent access
Special Closed Collection
Geneva boxed collections
Unprocessed (unidentified) items hidden in corners all over New Cold Storage
November 30, 2006
For those of you who thought the arrangement of my archieve was nuts, be sure to read Abby’s comment (comments in right column.) Her situation makes me feel downright organized. At least I’m here 20 hrs/wk and have 35 hrs from my highly skilled student workers.
My students are now insisting on holiday music to work to. It’s semester crunch time so most are being excused from some of their hours to write papers, study for test, or because they are sick. Only one more week of classes. I do get lonely when they are gone.
November 15, 2006
I thought I’d share a bit about how confusing our archives shelving scheme is, in case someone else is starting out with a seemingly chaotic system. It took me about 6 months to work out what was going on, when I first started here. I finally found a description buried in a file that helped somehow. It mentions a “two-digit Dewey system” that still mystifies me.
Apparently there where three archivists before me, and each start a new system. Not wanting to be left out, I started yet another.
Here is the explanation I put together for the student workers this year:
MSS Shelving (4 different shelving schemes)
- Mss file 00 (2 digits)
- Numerical order [02 before 92]
- Cutter Number* [92 b345 before 92 b43]
- Numerical order [02 before 92]
- Mss file 000.00 (3digits and decimal point) [378.48 before 378.96]
- Additional numbers (unless it’s a year) [378.48 05 before 378.48 al]
- Letters [378.48 al before 378.48al 1890]
- Mss file A (letters)
- Alphabetical: One letter before two [A before Al]
- Number before letters [A 25 before A b25]
- Cutter numbers* [A b258 before A b3]
- Mss file 2003.001 (year, decimal point, 3 digits)
- Year [2003 before 2004 ]
- Numerical order [2004.001 before 2004.003]
Do any of you have anything as wonderful as this?