INFO 6800 (Winter 2013) Week Seven Archival Formats Exercise

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A handout for an exercise on archival formats in Week7 of INFO 6800 (Winter 2013).

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INFO 6800 (Winter 2013) Week Seven Archival Formats Exercise

  1. 1. INFO 6800 Archives – February 18, 2013 Week Seven Archival Formats ExerciseIntroductionThe purpose of this exercise is to provide an opportunity to examine the various formatsof materials that can be found in archives and develop an appreciation of the archivalrequirements for each format. Students will review a variety of formats and then formgroups to choose a format and discuss it in relation to the various archival functions(e.g., acquisitions, arrangement, description, preservation, access, etc.).Part A – Instructions 1) Form groups of 5-6 2) Select one of the available formats (e.g., glass plate negative, floppy disk, textual record, etc.) and review documentation about the chosen format 3) Evaluate the materials and assess their characteristics, physical condition, conservation requirements, and other physical attributes 4) Examine the information content of the materials and assess its value (historical, research, evidential, intrinsic, etc.) 5) Discuss the format with your group, focusing on the challenges involved with carrying the format through the core archival functions (acquisitions, appraisal, arrangement and description, preservation, access, outreach, etc.) 6) You may wish to approach the task by asking a series of questions: a) Do the materials possess archival value? b) What is the physical condition of the materials? Do the materials need treatment by a conservator? INFO 6800 Archives (Winter 2013) – Archival Formats Exercise | 1
  2. 2. c) What are the preservation requirements of the format? What are the short- and long-term implications of storing the materials in a poor environment? d) What will it cost to preserve the materials? Do the materials have special storage requirements? e) How would you describe the materials? How would they be arranged? f) What are the requirements for providing access to the materials? Are there privacy or copyright concerns? g) Would you recommend the materials be acquired by an archives?7) Jot down your group’s findings and discuss with class INFO 6800 Archives (Winter 2013) – Archival Formats Exercise | 2

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