Forty‐TWO
Heads
are
Be1er
then
One:

PACSCL’s
Approach
to
a
Cross
Repository
Processing
Program

              SAA
Na9onal...
PACSCL
Hidden
Collec<ons
                       Processing
Project
•  Funded
by
Council
on
Library
and
Informa9on
Resource...
Experimenta<on
in
Processing
We
processed
3,897
linear
feet
in
2
years
•  Employed
“MPLP”
strategy
as
introduced
in
Greene...
PACSCL
Finding
Aids
Site
Created
a
central
online
finding
aid
site
  – Developed
by
the
University
of
Pennsylvania
    Libr...
42
Heads
are
be1er
than
1
23
Repository
Reps
+

2
full
9me
project
staff
+

16
part‐9me
student

      processors
+

1
part...
The
Benefits
of
a
Project
Team
         •  Centralized
staff
necessary
            to
ensure
adherence
to
            standa...
The
Benefits
of
a
Project
Team
•  Project
manager
and
   Project
archivist
   –  Developed
processing
      program
   –  E...
Commi1ee
Work
Shared
knowledge,
shared
experience
     •  Standards
Commibee
     •  Oversight
Commibee
     •  Technical
...
Reality
of
Large
Scale
                         Collabora<on
•  Collabora9ve
   par9cipa9on
varied
   –  Student
supervisi...
PACSCL‐Wide
Benefit
        •  206
unhidden
           collec9ons
region
wide
           –  7+
at
each
repository
        •...
Benefit
Beyond
PACSCL
•  Developed
workflow
for
elimina9ng
backlog
in
archives
   faster
   –  Outlined
on
project
website:
...
Seek
Partnerships
Everywhere!

Despite
our
differences,
 We
all
have
hidden
 collec<ons
and
 processing
backlog
in
 common!...
Forty-two heads are better than one
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Forty-two heads are better than one

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Society of American Archivists, Chicago, IL

Session 408: Cooperation Makes it Happen: Collaboration in Museum Archives

Museum archives and other small shops are facing the challenges of the 21st century creatively by joining forces and collaborating with colleagues. This panel discussion examines six innovative projects that utilized shared resources and mutually beneficial goals, resulting in a greater overall impact for participants than could have been achieved by one archives going it alone. The speakers, who represent a variety of repositories, examine both in-house projects and collaborations between and among institutions.

Susan K. Anderson, Chair, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Michelle Elligott, Museum of Modern Art

Susan J. von Salis, Harvard Art Museum

David M. Dwiggins, Historic New England

Alfred Lemmon, CA, Historic New Orleans Collection

Courtney Smerz, Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries

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Forty-two heads are better than one

  1. 1. Forty‐TWO
Heads
are
Be1er
then
One:

PACSCL’s
Approach
to
a
Cross
Repository
Processing
Program

 SAA
Na9onal
Conference,
Chicago
 August
24,
2011
 Courtney
Smerz,
Project
Archivist

  2. 2. PACSCL
Hidden
Collec<ons
 Processing
Project
•  Funded
by
Council
on
Library
and
Informa9on
Resources’
 “Cataloging
Hidden
Special
Collec9ons
and
Archives”
ini9a9ve
•  23
par9cipa9ng
repositories
across
Philadelphia,
PA
 –  6
museums,
7
universi9es,
3
historical
socie9es,
4
private
 ins9tu9ons,
3
public
ins9tu9ons
•  Eliminate
processing
backlog
and
expose
hidden
collec9ons
 –  Processed
123
hidden
collec<ons
of
manuscripts
and
archives
 –  Converted
83
Legacy
finding
aids
to
EAD
•  Centralized
processing
team
 –  Project
Manager,
Project
Archivist,
several
teams
of
part‐9me
 student
processors,
1
part‐9me
cataloger

  3. 3. Experimenta<on
in
Processing
We
processed
3,897
linear
feet
in
2
years
•  Employed
“MPLP”
strategy
as
introduced
in
Greene’s
and
 Meissner’s
2005
ar9cle
“More
Product,
Less
Process…”
 –  Tested
on
collec9ons
ranging
the
17th
to
the
21st
centuries
 –  Goal
of
2
hours
per
linear
foot
9meframe
 –  Combined
philosophy
of
MPLP
with
Robert
Cox’s
2010
“Maximal
 Processing…”
to
make
the
most
of
our
limited
9me
with
collec9ons
 –  MPLP
is
not
just
for
20th
century
business
records
anymore
•  Used
The
Archivists’
Toolkit
database
•  Used
student
labor
 –  Developed
“Archival
Boot
Camp”
to
train
students

  4. 4. PACSCL
Finding
Aids
Site
Created
a
central
online
finding
aid
site
 – Developed
by
the
University
of
Pennsylvania
 Libraries
 – Finding
aids
from
all
23
repositories
in
one
place
 – Keyword
and
faceted
searching,
and
searching
in
 individual
repositories
 – Will
one
day
become
primary
research
point
in
 Philadelphia
 findingaids.pacscl.org

  5. 5. 42
Heads
are
be1er
than
1
23
Repository
Reps
+

2
full
9me
project
staff
+

16
part‐9me
student

 processors
+

1
part‐9me
student

 cataloger
_______________
42
Stakeholders

  6. 6. The
Benefits
of
a
Project
Team
 •  Centralized
staff
necessary
 to
ensure
adherence
to
 standards
across
23
 ins9tu9ons
 –  Holly
Mengel,
Project
 Manager
 –  Courtney
Smerz,
Project
 Archivist
 –  Teams
of
student
processors

  7. 7. The
Benefits
of
a
Project
Team
•  Project
manager
and
 Project
archivist
 –  Developed
processing
 program
 –  Ensured
standards
upheld
 across
23
repositories
 –  Created
processing
plans
for
 each
collec9on
 –  Developed
training
program
 –  Edited
finding
aids
 –  Completed
all
authority
work
•  Student
Processors
 –  Processed
a
majority
of
the
 collec9ons
 –  Thoughaul
collaborators

  8. 8. Commi1ee
Work
Shared
knowledge,
shared
experience
 •  Standards
Commibee
 •  Oversight
Commibee
 •  Technical
Commibee
 – Most
ac9ve
commibee
 – Developed
MS
Excel
spreadsheet,
for
 impor9ng
data
into
The
Archivists
 Toolkit

  9. 9. Reality
of
Large
Scale
 Collabora<on
•  Collabora9ve
 par9cipa9on
varied
 –  Student
supervision
 –  Coordinated
on‐site
tech
 support
 –  Provided
feedback
•  Project
team
facilitated
 collabora9on
 –  solicited
feedback

  10. 10. PACSCL‐Wide
Benefit
 •  206
unhidden
 collec9ons
region
wide
 –  7+
at
each
repository
 •  3,897
LF
of
backlog
 eliminated
 •  Finding
Aid
Site
 –  Researcher
benefit
 –  Repository
benefit

  11. 11. Benefit
Beyond
PACSCL
•  Developed
workflow
for
elimina9ng
backlog
in
archives
 faster
 –  Outlined
on
project
website:
clir.pacscl.org
•  Developed
training
program
to
get
the
most
out
of
 student
workers
•  Established
guidelines
for
effec9ve
selec9on
of
 collec9ons
for
MPLP
processing
•  Project
blog
disclosed
successes
and
failures
of
MPLP
 processing
and
The
Archivist’s
Toolkit

  12. 12. Seek
Partnerships
Everywhere!

Despite
our
differences,
 We
all
have
hidden
 collec<ons
and
 processing
backlog
in
 common!
 clir.pacscl.org
 findingaids.pacscl.org
 ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐
 www.pacscl.org

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