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PACSCL's "Hidden Collections" Processing Project

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Presented to the Temple University Barnes Club to make students of public history aware of newly available archival collections in their fields of study.

Presented to the Temple University Barnes Club to make students of public history aware of newly available archival collections in their fields of study.

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  • 1. PACSCL
“Hidden
Collec0ons”
Processing
Project
 
 Temple
University
Barnes
Club
 November
18,
2010
 Holly
Mengel,
Project
Manager

 Courtney
Smerz,
Project
Archivist

  • 2. What
is
PACSCL?
 Philadelphia
Area
Consor0um
of
Special
Collec0ons
Libraries
–  CooperaEve
group
of
special
collecEons
libraries
with
shared
goals
for
their
 collecEons
–  Founded
in
1985
with
16
member
libraries
–  Today,
PACSCL
is
composed
of
35
member
libraries
 •  4,000,000
rare
books

 •  260,000
linear
feet
of
manuscripts
and
archival
materials

 •  9,000,000
photographs,
maps,
architectural
drawings,
and
works
of
art
on
paper
 •  BUT,
PACSCL
itself,
does
not
own
collecEons
–  Long
history
of
consorEal
work
 www.pacscl.org

  • 3. Hidden
Collec0ons
Project
•  PACSCL
developed
and
administered
•  Funded
by
Council
on
Library
and
InformaEon
 Resources’
(CLIR)
Cataloging
Hidden
Special
CollecEons
 and
Archives
iniEaEve
 www.clir.org/hiddencollec0ons/
•  Process
and
make
accessible
for
research
approximately
 200
hidden
collec*ons
of
manuscripts
and
archives
•  23
parEcipaEng
PACSCL
repositories
•  27
month‐long
project

  • 4. What
are
hidden
collec0ons?
•  Hidden
collec0ons:
 –  Unprocessed
or
under‐processed
collecEons
 –  NOT
research
ready
 –  NOT
adverEsed
to
the
researching
public
 –  1000s
of
hidden
collecEons
in
Philadelphia

  • 5. Why
are
they

NOT
research
ready?
 •  Not
physically
or
 intellectually
accessible
 •  Have
been
on
the
shelf
for
 a
long
Eme
 –  Repository
staff
does
know
 what’s
in
them

  • 6. The
problem
with
hidden
collec0ons
•  Managing
archival
collecEons
is
Eme
 consuming
•  BACK
LOG
of
work
to
be
done
•  BUT
‐
If
no
one
knows
its
there,
and
no
one
 uses
it,
why
keep
it?

  • 7. How
PACSCL
is
dealing

 with
Hidden
Collec*ons
•  Follow‐up
to
PACSCL
survey
project,
 2006‐2008
•  Processing
/
making
accessible
200
 hidden
collec*ons
•  Processing:

 •  The
act
of
arranging
an
archival
 collecEon,
 •  Providing
archival
quality
housing,
 and
 •  Describing
the
collecEon,
or
wriEng
a
 finding
aid
•  Finding
aid:
a
catalog
of
the
collecEon,
which
communicates
to
 archivists
and
researchers
what
is
in
the
collecEon
and
how
to
access
 the
materials
quickly
and
easily

  • 8. Experimenta0on,
archivally
speaking
•  Using
“MPLP”
 – Processing
at
a
less
intensive
rate
 – CollecEons
range
from
the
17th
to
the
21st
centuries
•  Use
student
labor
•  Use
the
Archivists’
Toolkit
database
•  Create
a
model
to
eliminate
processing
BACK
 LOGs

  • 9. …Making
collec0ons

 research
ready…
Before
archival
processing
 AXer
archival
processing

  • 10. …And
easier
to
find
•  Created
a
central
online
finding
aid
site
 –  Developed
by
the
University
of
Pennsylvania
Libraries
 –  Finding
aids
from
all
23
repositories
in
one
place
 –  We
are
adding
new
finding
aids
all
the
Eme
 –  We
are
NOT
digiEzing
collecEons
 findingaids.pacscl.org
•  Related
collecEons
all
over
Philadelphia
 –  i.e.
the
Wister
family,
women’s
history,
horEcultural
collecEons,
 etc.
•  CollecEons
and
informaEon
in
unexpected
places
 –  Word
War
II
photos
at
the
Academy
of
Natural
Sciences

  • 11. Searching
capabili0es
•  Search
across
repositories
•  Search
in
a
singular
 repository
•  Keyword
searching
•  Faceted
searching
 –  Select
as
many
or
as
few
 facet
categories
as
you
like

  • 12. One
year
in…
74
unhidden
collecEons
in
13
repositories:
Academy
of
Natural
Sciences
Bryn
Mawr
College
Chester
County
Historical
Society
College
of
Physicians
of
Philadelphia
Drexel
University
Archives
&
Special


 CollecEons
Drexel
University
College
of

Medicine
Free
Library
of
Philadelphia
Haverford
College
Independence
Seaport
Museum
Library
Company
of
Philadelphia
Lutheran
Seminary
at
Philadelphia
Temple
University,
Urban
Archives
Wagner
Free
InsEtute
of
Science

  • 13. Upcoming
processing
work
 •  Another
70
collecEons
to
go
 Temple
University,
Special
 CollecEons
 Historical
Society
of
Pennsylvania
 Presbyterian
Historical
Society
 Philadelphia
Museum
of
Art
 University
of
Delaware
 NaEonal
Archives
 Rosenbach
Museum
and
Library
 This
is
just
the
0p
of
the
iceberg

  • 14. What
are
we
processing?
 •  The
American
RevoluEon
 •  The
Arts:
Fine
Arts,
Music,
Performing
 Arts,
and
WriEng
 •  Business
and
Commerce
 •  Colonial
History
 •  EducaEon
 •  Family
Histories
and
Genealogy
 Just
about
anything!
 •  History
of
Philadelphia
Cultural
All
with
a
HIGH
research
value
 InsEtuEons
 •  Law,
PoliEcs
and
Government
 •  MariEme
History
 clir.pacscl.org
 •  Medicine
 •  Military
History
 •  Race
and
Ethnic
History
 •  Religion
 •  Science
 •  Travel
and
Tourism
 •  Women’s
History
 •  WriEng,
Publishing
and
Bookselling

  • 15. Favorite
finds
•  American
Women’s
Hospitals
photographs,
Drexel
University
 College
of
Medicine
•  Lubin
Manufacturing
Company
records,
Free
Library
of
 Philadelphia
•  Samuel
George
Morton
papers,
Library
Company
of
Philadelphia
•  Samuel
X
Radbill
papers,
College
of
Physicians
of
Philadelphia
•  Vaux
family
papers,
Haverford
College
•  Upcoming…
William
Penn
family
papers,
Cox
TransportaEon
 collecEon,
Pennsylvania
Ballet
records,
Presbyterian
missionary
 papers…

  • 16. How
to
find
us…

 …and
the
collec0ons
 clir.pacscl.org
 findingaids.pacscl.org
 ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐
www.pacsclsurvey.org/
 www.pacscl.org
www.clir.org/hiddencollec0ons/