My backlog is sneaking up on me again. I’ve started working on a procedure for dealing with things before the piles start burying me again. I’m working on a strategy using Archivists Toolkit. The one thing I don’t see how to handle is how to prioritize accessions. I’m using ACC as a location code. I’m thinking of making it 1ACC, 2ACC, 3ACC, etc. so when I’m ready to move on to resources I won’t waste time with low priority items.

My other thought, that I would love some feedback on, is ACC numbers vs Call numbers.  I’m currently using four digit year dot three digit number (ACC 2007.001) and for the Manuscript collection the same scheme. (G. mss file 2007.001)  Part of me wants things to line up so the ACC number just becomes the call.  But I’m accessioning more than I’m cataloging. So… if I use the same number, it will look like items are missing from the mss file.

I plan to work in batches.  When something comes in I’m immediately putting it in an acid free envelope with a subject on the front and an priority number, in pencil of course. Then I put in one of three priority piles.

Dealing with the backlog

  • Input the all piles into AT accessions.  Priorities 2 and 3 can then be put in the ACC files.
  • Input priority 1 files into AT resources
  • Export MARC for each (file name MARCwhatever)
  • Add to Voyager, note Bib number
  • Put Bib number in AT resources
  • Delete exported MARC file.

OK that’s my plan.  I’ll tell you tomorrow how it works.


I’m trying to take a stab at getting hold of items that folks will be asking for 20 years from now. Like the student organization stuff I mentioned in my last post. I decided to send out a message to the faculty and staff listservs asking that 2 copies of publications or other materials be sent to the Archives.

I received some great things that I didn’t already have, but it also became aware that there are some on campus that don’t even know that the Archives exist. So I tried to carefully craft a post to the list to let them know where to find us. We’ll see how it works out.  🙂

Student organizations

February 20, 2007

Does anyone out there have any ideas on getting items from student organizations sent to your Archives?  I have three different groups looking information from 20 years ago.  But 20 years ago no one thought to give anything to the Archives.

It is clear that most of the campus is not aware that the Archives exist.  I believe we are making slow progress at making ourselves known, but I sure would like to hear some suggestions.


February 12, 2007

I just saved faculty report as PDF/A. I ran the preflight to check for compliance and all is well. 🙂


February 7, 2007

I opened something (e-mail batch 381 pages) that I had already saved as PDF and ran the Preflight (last thing on the Advanced dropdown menu). I asked it to check if it was “Compliant with PDF/A-1b”. It came up with more than 50 errors, it looked like they were mostly related to missing embedded fonts. So at this point I’ll have to say with Acrobat 7.0 I can’t change PDF to PDF/A unless one of you can tell me differently. I guess that would have been a good reason to save the originals, but of course I didn’t.

At least I can be compliant from here on. Obviously I’m more concerned about this for the faculty memos than for my reference questions. 🙂


Saving e-mail as PDF/A

February 7, 2007

Every six month I save all the e-mail reference requests I get, along with my responses, to a PDF file. This is great if I get the same question, because of the automatic subject index. After the workshop yesterday I wanted to see if I could save them to PDF/A.

Oops I just figured it out. I was about to say I couldn’t do it. It’s a good think I write this blog, I learn a lot from myself. 😉

MS Outlook also has a dropdown menu at the top “Adobe PDF.” So I can do the same thing I did with MS Word. (See yesterdays comments.)

I did find that I can open the “Properties” on a PDF file to add subjects and tags.

I’d love to hear how other are doing with this.

Preservation Options of PDF

February 6, 2007

I was able to attend this SAA webcast by Geof Huth yesterday and was very impress with it, both for the information I gained and for the format. Geof Huth was in Wisconsin and I was with 13 others at RRLC in Rochester, NY. We didn’t see Geof, but we heard him through the speaker phone and he manipulated the power point presentation. He answered questions from all over the country. What a great way to have a “national” workshop without the travel time and expenses!

I had learned back at the beginning of the academic year about being able to append to a PDF. Since then I have been collecting all the e-mail from the Faculty list, since memos are not sent any more. Yesterday we learned about PDF/A format, which is the ISO standard for archival PDF. This format embeds the fonts so if they change in the future, what you have looks as it did when it was produced. Geof covered the standard, advantages, disadvantages, software, but I won’t try to go into the whole presentation here.

So today I’m try to put into practice what I learned. Geof talked about Adobe Acrobat 8.0, and it turns out I have 7.0. I was able to figure out where to change the settings to PDF/A-1b (the minimum standard). Now I have to figure out how to change the stuff I’ve already saved to the standard. It’s not obvious to me yet. Any suggestions? 🙂

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