Introduction to archival research

1,504 views

Published on

Presentation given for Preservation Week 2014.

0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
1,504
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
2
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
34
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Introduction to archival research

  1. 1. Introduction to Archival Research Nadia Dixson Archivist, City of Somerville ndixson@somervillema.gov
  2. 2. AN ARCHIVE IS NOT A LIBRARY
  3. 3. AN ARCHIVE IS NOT A LIBRARY • An archival collection is made up of the things people produce over the course of their lives. • The formats and subject matter of a single archival collection can vary greatly
  4. 4. ORDER OUT OF CHAOS • Provenance1 is a fundamental principle of archives, referring to the individual, family, or organization that created or received the items in a collection. The principle of provenance or the respect des fonds dictates that records of different origins (provenance) be kept separate to preserve their context. ▫ Society of American Archivists, Glossary or Archival and Records Terminology
  5. 5. FINDING AIDS • Because archival collections are different from books, archivists use different tools to describe archival collections. • There may be entries for collections in a library catalog, but they will not be as robust as a finding aid
  6. 6. FINDING AID EXAMPLES • Family ▫ Cunningham Family Papers http://www.masshist.org/collection- guides/view/fa0352?terms=family • Individual ▫ Caroline Wells Healey Dall Papers http://www.masshist.org/collection- guides/view/fa0270?terms=family • Organization ▫ Apollo Club (Boston, Mass.) Records http://www.masshist.org/collection- guides/view/fa0364
  7. 7. ANATOMY OF A FINDING AID • Title – Derived from the provenance of the collection • Dates – Gives the years of the collection, in terms of inclusive and bulk dates • Extent-Volume of material in terms of space or number of boxes. • Scope and Content- Full text describing the formats and subjects in the collection.
  8. 8. WHERE ARE THE FINDING AIDS? • Unfortunately it isn’t as easy as googling ▫ Multiple resources drawing on the same pools of information. • Worldcat – Includes library material as well archival material. https://www.worldcat.org/ • Digital Public Library of America – Contains only digitized items, http://dp.la/ • Digital Commonwealth - A targeted collection of digitized items from 130 Massachusetts institutions. https://www.digitalcommonwealth.org/
  9. 9. ARCHIVEGRID • Based on Worldcat data, but does a better job of filtering non-archival material • http://beta.worldcat.org/archivegrid/
  10. 10. ARCHIVAL SEARCH IN THE FUTURE • Linked Data and the Semantic Web • Archives Hub- • http://archiveshub.ac.uk/
  11. 11. Credits • Image of Archive http://www.doaks.org/library- archives • SAA Glossary http://www2.archivists.org/glossary/terms/p/p rovenance

×