Confessions of an Accidental Archivist and Amateur Cataloger


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Confessions of an Accidental Archivist and Amateur Cataloger: What Happens When a Reference Librarian Runs a Special Collection

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  • Tension in librarianship and archives between access and preservation. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse, reference orientation causes me to tip toward access side. Not out of nobility, just because that's how I think. Times when prioritizing patron is a disservice to the materials. Variety of tactics. Disclaimers I am a reference librarian. I don't claim to be all that savvy on the differences between special collections librarianship and archival practice. Compare and contrast, not this vs. that.
  • Active creators: In copyright, even if anti- statement, but before they knew that there'd be zine collections, much less www distribution Third party issues with donated materials (e.g. Johanna's real name, Nia's real name) Possibly hostile to institutionalizing their writings Secondary sources, though some notes. Case by case. Young authors Extreme changes (e.g. politics), including gender Embarrassing content Hard to find Copyright—often anti. Different set of mores that I attempt to honor. Everygrrrl As opposed to Fales; we complement each other.
  • Originally collection was formed with purchases, which impacts how it was organized. Now it's mostly gifts. Agreements: huh? Collection development policy, Barnard's zines are written by women with an emphasis on zines by women of color. A woman's gender is self-defined. We also collect zines on feminism and femme identity by people of all genders. The zines are personal and political publications on activism, anarchism, body image, third wave feminism, gender, parenting, queer community, riot grrrl, sexual assault, and other topics. Donors agree via email usually that what's triplicate or out of scope will go to another library. So far all donors have approached me. I've even turned some away due to backlog. Trades: Part of community myself, as a creator. Payment: Reimburse postage Paid one person, wouldn't again, at least not for that particular collection (but do pay for individual zines acquired) Tea party
  • Explain archives vs. stacks copies. Conceived as stacks collection, so browsability always a factor, hence Cutter (originally wanted LCSH) Archives zines in pamphlet files, like books, rather than spine down. Original cataloging practice didn't allow for provenance, but it could now.
  • Confessions of an Accidental Archivist and Amateur Cataloger

    1. 1. Confessions of an Accidental Archivist and Amateur Cataloger: What Happens When a Reference Librarian Runs a Special Collection Midwest Archives Conference Organizing Anarchy April 23, 2010 Jenna Freedman, Zine Librarian, Barnard College
    2. 2. the materials • Active creators/records • Secondary sources • Most authors young, recent • Copyright/permissions • Authored by everygrrrl Subject to Change by Wendy
    3. 3. acquisitions • Purchases • Gifts—but not organized by donor, even intellectually • What's a donor agreement? • Trades • Payment • Almost no subscriptions I Dreamed I Was Assertive by Celia Perez
    4. 4. processing & cataloging • Circulating zines stamped, tattle taped, and barcoded • Item level cataloging with LCSH for every zine • I read and catalog every zine in the collection • Abstracting, cataloging, and processing help from student workers and LIS interns Muffin Bones by Emily K. Larned
    5. 5. shelving/preservation • Cutter classification scheme, not by donor • Stacks zines browsable • Archives zines in acid free pamphlet files, climate controlled archive, paged from reference • No special reading room, photography, pens, food allowed The Future Generation by China Martens
    6. 6. links/contact This presentation: Me: Barnard Library Zine Collection Comparison of Barnard Zine Collection and Fales Riot Grrrl Collection Library Journal Zine Reviews Why We're Not Digitizing Zines, by Kelly Wooten, Duke University digitizing-zines Your Zine Tool Kit: a DIY Collection Zine Libraries Zine Libraries Interest Group, includes downloadable Zine Librarian Zine Zinelibrarians list