INFO 6800 (Winter 2013) Week Ten: Acquisitions and Accessioning


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  • Acquisitions should only occur after goals, purpose, mandate, long-term plans, space, and resources have been determinedAcquisition policy should flow from legal mandate or executive decision establishing the archive
  • Acquisition policy will:Stipulate what the archives will acquireSet limits on acquisitionOutline materials that are of particular interestShould minimize subjective decisionsComprehensive acquisition strategyMission statementGoalsObjectivesNeeds assessmentTimelineResults and evaluationDocumentation strategy – A methodology that guides selection and assures retention of adequate information about a specific geographic area, a topic, a process, or an event that has been dispersed throughout societyCouncil of Nova Scotia Archives Cooperative Acquisition StrategyOutlines “scope” and “significance” factors Helps CNSA members rationalize holdings Facilitates dispersal of materials among CNSA membersStrategies ensure acquisition activities contribute to achievement of overall missionMany archives do not document their acquisition activities at this levelMany strategies have been written to legitimize collecting activity rather than focus it
  • Six instruments of transferOral agreementCan be legally binding, but offers poorest documentationPurchase agreementLetterWillDeposit AgreementAvoid taking deposits if at all possibleDeed of GiftBest option
  • Deed of gift should contain:Name of donor Name of recipient archiveDescription of materialsUsually attached as scheduleConditions of donatione.g., access restrictions Statement indicating transfer of ownership (and copyright if possible)Date of acquisitionSignatures of both the archivist and donor (should be witnessed)
  • Make shipping arrangementsWhat about electronic records?Acknowledge receipt of materialsGather information from creatorAssign accession numberCreate accession recordAdd materials to location registerAccession record + Deed of Gift = Proof of possession and ownershipForms part of case file for fondsKeep everything in secure, central place Consider backup Accrual – Materials added to an existing collectionEach accrual should be treated as a separate accessionA fonds might have one finding aid and several accession records
  • Deaccessioning – Permanently removing accessioned materials from a repositoryThere are many different reasons to deaccession materialsMaterials may be offered back to donor, offered to another archives, or destroyedNeeds a formal process Detailed records should be kept Who deaccessioned the materials? What was deaccessioned?Where did the materials go?Why were they deaccessioned?
  • These citations are provided for informational and reference purposes only. Please do not use these citations as examples for formatting your own citations. Refer to style guides.
  • INFO 6800 (Winter 2013) Week Ten: Acquisitions and Accessioning

    1. 1. INFO 6800 - Archives• Announcements• Acquisitions• Accessioning• Tour of Dalhousie University Archives 11, 2013 Week Ten 1
    2. 2. Acquisitions• Acquisition (verb) – The process of acquiring records from any source by What are transfer, donation, or purchase, or the body of records so acquired acquisitions?• Acquisition (noun) - Materials received by a repository as a unit; an accession Resource AllocationMarch 11, 2013 Week Ten 2
    3. 3. Acquisitions What does an Outline materials acquisitions of interest(collections) policy do? Set limits Stipulate whatthe archives will Should help minimize acquire subjective decisionsMarch 11, 2013 Week Ten 3
    4. 4. Faculty Papers• Appraisal policy draws from various acquisitions and appraisal methods (e.g., Minnesota Method, Documentation Strategy, Macro-appraisal, etc.)• Policy assists with collections development• Enables coordination between donors, departments, and archives• Assists with processing backlog Resource AllocationMarch 11, 2013 Week Ten 4
    5. 5. Faculty PapersHyry, Kapla “Our policy acknowledges that a vitan, Weidem and photograph should be acquired an (2002) for all faculty members, but especially for those who are tenured. We knew from experience that researchers frequently ask for these items and that requesting a vita and photograph often helps allay the disappointment of potential donors whose papers we decline.”March 11, 2013 Week Ten 5
    6. 6. Gaining Legal Control Purchase Deposit Will agreement agreement How do archives gain legal control? Letter Oral Deed of gift agreementMarch 11, 2013 Week Ten 6
    7. 7. Elements of a Deed of Gift• Name of donor and recipient archive• Description of materials What are the• Conditions of donation (e.g., access restrictions) elements of a• Statement indicating transfer of ownership• Date of acquisition deed of gift?• Signatures of both the archivist and donor (should be witnessed)March 11, 2013 Week Ten 7
    8. 8. Gaining Legal Control• University of Victoria oi/Arc_SC_Gift.pdf• AABC Sample Deed of Gift mallarchives.pdf• Dalhousie University ArchivesMarch 11, 2013 Week Ten 8
    9. 9. Gaining physical control• Accession – To take legal and How do archives physical custody of a group of records or other materials and to formally document their receipt gain physical• To document the transfer of records or materials in a register, database, or control? other log of the repository’s holdingsMarch 11, 2013 Week Ten 9
    10. 10. Gaining physical control• Make shipping arrangements • What about electronic records?• Acknowledge receipt of materials• Gather information from creator• Assign accession number• Create accession record• Update location register Resource AllocationMarch 11, 2013 Week Ten 10
    11. 11. Gaining physical control• Accrual – Materials added to an existing collection• Each accrual should be treated as a separate accession• A fonds might have several accessions and an accession might be distributed amongst several fondsMarch 11, 2013 Week Ten 11
    12. 12. Gaining physical control Fonds 1 Accession 1Accession 1 Fonds 4 Fonds 1 Accession 5 Fonds 53 Accession 12 March 11, 2013 Week Ten 12
    13. 13. Gaining physical control• Deaccessioning – Permanently removing accessioned materials from a repository• There are many different reasons to deaccession materials• Materials may be offered back to donor, offered to another archives, or destroyed• Deaccessioning is related to reappraisalMarch 11, 2013 Week Ten 13
    14. 14. March 11, 2013 Week Ten 14
    15. 15. Acquisitions Scenario• Mandate to acquire records of local community organizations• Limited preservation budget• Organization wants to donate records of high research value • Some are heavily water damaged • Wants 50 year restrictions on some records• What would you do?March 11, 2013 Week Ten 15
    16. 16. Sources (in order of appearance)Adams, Scott (1995). Dilbert comic. 16/.Hyry, Tom, Diane Kaplan, and Christine Weideman, “”Though there be madness, yet there is Method in ‘t”: Assessing the Value of Faculty Papers and Defining a Collecting Policy,” American Archivist, Vol. 65 (Spring-Summer, 2002), p. 56-69. flow chart. 11, 2013 Week Ten 16