What I learned from the move.

September 30, 2008

I was asked if there were an insights I could share after the chaos of moving this summer.  My situation may be different that others in that I had little input, beyond approval, of what the new area would be.  But the architect and planners did a great job.

My insights:

  • Keep your sense of humor and remember everyone else is in the same boat.  (I, myself, lost it completely on two occasions.)
  • Be proactive. Don’t wait for them to ask the question.  Think through what needs to be moved where and in what order way ahead of time. (I did a lot of that in the middle of the night when i couldn’t sleep, not recommended.) You have more control that way.
  • If you have different collections in the same kind of boxes, color coding works well.  We have MSS, Program, Alumni, and Faculty collection all in grey document boxes one right after the other.  Now MSS has green dots, Program yellow, etc.
  • Number the boxes.  We just had first and last call no. on each box before the move, and it is a very screwy system, so numbering the boxes made it really easy to get them back in the correct order.
  • If there is ANYTHING that should be, or has been waiting to be deaccessioned, do it BEFORE the move.
  • Treat everyone who is working on the project like family.  Tell them when you are impressed with their work (all of the time).  Be enthusiastic about how things are going.  You will get back what you give.
  • As you are putting things back in place it’s a great time to question how and why you do things the way you do.  There could be a better way.

I’ll get back to you if anything else comes to me.


2 Responses to “What I learned from the move.”

  1. undergroundarchivist Says:

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I will definitely take these into consideration as I prepare for my own archival move.

  2. Although I’m not planning a move, I would like to reorganize The Vault because I’m having a difficult time finding things, so I appreciate the suggestion for numbering and color coding. Hopefully, I can get things into an arrangement that makes sense to me and to the users.

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