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Archives & Manuscripts

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  • 1. Archives & Manuscripts Queens College of the City University of New York Graduate School of Library and Information Studies LibSci 732, Section E6T2, Fall 2007 Tuesday 6:40-9:15 pm Room RZ304 Instructor: Sharon A. Pullen, C.A., MSLIS, MA
  • 2. What are Archives?
    • 1. Materials created or received by a person, family, or organization, public or private, in the conduct of their affairs and preserved because of the enduring value contained in the information they contain or as evidence of the functions and responsibilities of their creator, especially those materials maintained using the principles of provenance, original order, and collective control; permanent records.
    • 2. The division within an organization responsible for maintaining the organization's records of enduring value.
    • 3. An organization that collects the records of individuals, families, or other organizations; a collecting archives.
    • 4. The professional discipline of administering such collections and organizations.
    • 5. The building (or portion thereof) housing archival collections.
    • 6. A published collection of scholarly papers, especially as a periodical.
  • 3. What is an Archive?
    • n. ~ 3. An archives. 1, 2, 3, 5
    • 4. Computing · Data stored offline.
    • 5. Computing · A backup.
    • 6. Computing · An attribute in some file systems, typically used to indicate that a file has changed since it was backed up.
    • Notes
    • United States and Canadian archivists generally deprecate the use of 'archive' (without an s) as a noun to mean a collection of records ('archives'), but that form is common in other English-speaking countries. In information technology, the s-less form, 'archive', is commonly used as a verb and to describe collections of backup data.
  • 4. Who is an Archivist?
    • 1. An individual responsible for appraising, acquiring, arranging, describing, preserving, and providing access to records of enduring value, according to the principles of provenance, original order, and collective control to protect the materials’ authenticity and context.
    • 2. An individual with responsibility for management and oversight of an archival repository or of records of enduring value.
  • 5. Who is an Archivist?(2)
    • Notes
    • An archivist's work with records of enduring value may be at any stage in the records life cycle, from creation onward. In the United States, archivists are typically associated with collections of inactive records. However, the European tradition includes management of active records as well, which in the United States is often the responsibility of a separate records manager. In the United States, archivists may be called manuscript curators, especially if they are responsible for collecting and administering collections of historical records acquired from individuals, families, or other organizations.
    • In some organizations, an archivist may be responsible for management of active, inactive, and archival records. In other organizations, an archivist may be responsible only for those records transferred to the archives. In a large repository, a practicing archivist may specialize in only one or a few archival functions noted above. A teaching archivist may not be currently responsible for collections but is familiar with the theory and practice of archival functions.
  • 6. What are Manuscripts?
    • 1. A handwritten document.
    • 2. An unpublished document.
    • 3. An author's draft of a book, article, or other work submitted for publication.
    • Notes
    • Other abbreviations include mss for manuscripts (plural) and MsS for manuscript signed. – Manuscript 1 is principally text or musical notation on paper, but may be supplemented by drawings. Typewritten documents are generally classified as manuscripts but are more accurately described as typescripts.
  • 7. What are Personal Papers?
    • (also personal records , private papers ), 1. Documents created, acquired, or received by an individual in the course of his or her affairs and preserved in their original order (if such order exists).
    • 2. Nonofficial documents kept by an individual at a place of work.
  • 8. Why Archives?
    • Who establishes an archive?
      • Corporate
      • Government
      • Organizational
  • 9. Why Archives? (2)
    • What purposes do archives serve?
      • Legal
      • Historical
      • Public relations
      • Organizational continuity
  • 10. History
    • Modern archival thinking has many roots in the French Revolution.
    • The French National Archives, were created in 1790 during the French Revolution from various government, religious, and private archives seized by the revolutionaries
  • 11. United States - NARA
    • National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) was created in 1934.
    • Before that individual government agencies were in charge of maintaining their own records.
    • When NARA staff members first began searching for old government files to catalog and store in the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C., they found many records had been put away carelessly. In many cases, fire insects, heat, water, and sunlight had caused quite a bit of damage.
  • 12. New York State
    • The New York State Archives was established in 1971 and opened its doors to the public in 1978.
    • It is a program of the State Education Department, with its main facility located in the Cultural Education Center on Madison Avenue in Albany.
    • It cares for and provides access to more than 130 million documents that tell the story of New York from the seventeenth century to the present.
  • 13. New York City
    • Founded in 1950, the Municipal Archives preserves and makes available the historical records of New York City municipal government.
    • Dating from the early seventeenth century to the present, the Municipal Archives holdings total approximately 160,000 cubic feet.
    • Accessioned from more than one hundred city agencies, the collections comprise office records, manuscript material, still and moving images, ledger volumes, vital records, maps, blueprints, and sound recordings.
  • 14. Why NOT Archives?
    • How is it that so many governments, businesses, and institutions accumulate records without establishing an archive?
      • Space
      • Personnel
      • Preservation costs
      • Ignorance
  • 15. When are archives established?
    • Anniversaries
    • Legal actions
    • New laws concerning records
  • 16. Who uses archives?
    • Authors
    • Historians
    • Public Relations Staff
    • Legal Counsel
    • Students
  • 17. Some basic concepts
    • Provenance
    • Original Order
    • Intrinsic Value
    • Evidentiary Value
    • Intellectual Control
    • Physical Control
  • 18. Some tools
    • Inventories
    • Needs Assessments
    • Preservation Surveys
    • Deeds of Gift
    • Mission Statements
    • Collection Policies
    • Retention Schedules
  • 19. Related Considerations
    • Internal Organizational Structure
    • Conservators
    • Grants
    • Interns
    • Professional Organizations
  • 20. Professional Organizations
    • Society of American Archivists
    • Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan NY
    • Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference
    • Academy of Certified Archivists
    • New York Archives Conference

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