Spread the love

This site provides information and resources for tiny repositories about managing archival collections as manufactured by the employees associated with the HCI-PSAR task.

Contact information and links had been accurate of as 2016.

Archival tips

Crash course in archives

This forty-minute breakdown of archival theory and training is targeted for professionals at little museums and historic internet web sites who lack archival training but find themselves archival that is stewarding. It covers archival theory, conservation, description/cataloging, and digitization. Initially presented by HCI-PSAR Senior venture Surveyor Celia Caust-Ellenbogen during the 2014 Small Museum Association Conference (Ocean City, Md). View the presentation as a PDF.

Archives for museums

This twenty-minute summary of archival theory and training is targeted for professionals at museums whom lack archival training but find themselves stewarding archival collections. It covers archival theory, conservation, description/cataloging, and extra resources. Adjusted from Celia Caust-Ellenbogen’s presentation above and presented by HCI-PSAR Lead venture Surveyor Sarah Leu during the 2015 Association that is mid-Atlantic of Annual Meeting (Philadelphia, PA). View the presentation as a PDF.

Next steps for HCI-PSAR participants

This twenty-minute presentation shows next steps for HCI-PSAR participating little repositories to advance within the care and handling of their archival collections. It covers the next situations: brand new materials included with collection that is existing brand brand brand new collection received, processing an assortment, beginning a digitization task, and developing a gathering policy. Initially presented by Project Surveyors Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Sarah Leu at a symposium for dollars County HCI-PSAR individuals (Mercer Museum, 2014) october. View the presentation being a PDF.

Archival concept and training

The summary of basic archival information and resources this is certainly within the HCI-PSAR survey report could be downloaded in PDF format here.

Archivists consider the materials they handle primarily with regards to collections as opposed to singular items. Understanding archival holdings in bigger groupings helps it be easier to conclude the entirety associated with the materials, and in addition helps retain the connections between interrelated things. Archivists define collections according into the concept of provenance, which can be one of several main principles of archival theory. Provenance asserts that the fundamental defining element of an assortment is its creator, which may end up being the specific, household, or company who created or received those items in an assortment. Materials produced or gathered by the individual that is same team ought to be held together. Consequently, the creators or enthusiasts associated with the materials should figure out the collections that are various your repository. Repositories can get collections that are provenance-based creators or 3rd events, or they are able to create collections on their own by assembling materials from various sources together by format or topic ( e.g., “Photograph collection,” “Civil War collection”). The repository is the creator of the collection (e.g., the “XYZ Historical Society photograph collection”) in the latter case.

It is essential to keep accurate documentation of whenever and from who an assortment ended up being received. If an assortment is donated, a deed that is signed of is continued file recording the donor name, products donated, date of present, and any appropriate or access difficulties with the collection. Likewise, if an assortment is obtained by purchase or other means, a file must certanly be maintained documenting the particulars regarding the purchase. Any work this is certainly done from the collection (conservation, processing, reformatting, etc.) also any modifications towards the collection (de-accessioning, disposition of particular things) should be documented in also the file. This “control file” is normally for internal just use, but could be produced accessible to other people taking care of the collection.

Archivists’ businesses

The Philadelphia area boasts a very good and community that is supportive of, a lot of whom are people in the Delaware Valley Archivists Group (DVAG). A tiny account cost grants usage of quarterly conferences, an on-line newsletter regular workshops, and a listserv (electronic subscriber list).

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) is really a local archivists’ team with a wider account base, from nyc to Virginia. As well as biannual seminars and a newsletter that is periodic MARAC hosts workshops and a listserv.

The community of United states Archivists could be the association that is national of. Its internet site keeps a criteria portal which encourages recommendations and recommendations on archives subjects varying from management to assessment to description and various other topics: http://www2.archivists.org/standards.

Learning possibilities

Publications on archival training can be obtained through the Society of United states Archivists (SAA) and United states Association of State and Local History (AASLH) bookstores. Some publications targeted especially for little businesses consist of:

  • Zamon, Christina. The Lone Arranger: Succeeding in a little Repository.
  • Hamill, Lois. Archives when it comes to Lay individual: A Guide to Managing Cultural Collections.
  • Carmicheal, David W. Organizing Archival reports: A Practical way of Arrangement & explanation for Small Archives. third version (2012).

Introductory archives workshops are occasionally available in the Philadelphia area by The Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (“Understanding Archives: An Introduction to Archival Basics”) additionally the Pennsylvania State Archives (“Archives Without Tears”). The United states Association for State and Local History (AASLH) offers an online webinar “Rules of Archives” many times a 12 months.


The overview of preservation information and resources that is within the HCI-PSAR survey report may be installed in PDF right here.

Preservation essentials

Managing the environmental conditions in which your archival collections are housed may be the solitary many essential action you may take their conservation. take to to keep moderate, constant heat and general moisture levels 24 hours/day, 365 days/year. Ideal levels are 65-70 degrees fahrenheit for heat and 40-50% for general moisture. Above all, stay away from extreme changes in these amounts. experience of light, specially sunshine, must be kept to the absolute minimum.

Utilize archival-quality storage space materials, such as for example non-acidic bins, files, and sleeves. These archival enclosures work a “microclimate” that will help collections from heat and moisture changes. Whenever boxes that are filling never to over- or under-fill them, since this could warp materials. Spacer boards made out of acid-free corrugated paperboard should provide additional help in under-stuffed containers. Founded archival companies consist of Gaylord Brothers, Hollinger Metal Edge, Light Impressions, and University items.

Resources to find out more

Numerous conservation resources are easily available on the resume help internet. Some suggested resources are:

  • Linking to Collections network is oriented designed for smaller museums, libraries, archives, and societies that are historical. Its features that are website to resources by item kind also as archived webinars.
  • Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) reality sheets: http://www.ccaha.org/publications/technical-bulletins
  • Northeast Document Conservation Center’s free resources at http://www.nedcc.org/free-resources/overview include conservation leaflets, online Preservation 101 program, and catastrophe preparedness and response support.
  • Regional Alliance for Preservation bibliography: http://www.rap-arcc.org/publications-resources/bibliography

during the April 13, 2013 symposium for HCI-PSAR individuals from Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties, separate conservator and collections consultant for archives and art written down Susan Duhl (SusanDuhl@verizon.net, 610-667-0714) offered a presentation on innovative Solutions for Collections Care.

  • Summary of presentation with links to resources and contact information for Susan Duhl and Art Conservators Alliance click right here to view PDF
  • Powerpoint presentation slideshow click right here to down load as being a PDF

Facilities planning

When you have the chance to build or relocate to facilities that are new you can find essential dilemmas to think about. A number of these concerns are normal to collection and museum facilities too, but since paper is just a medium that is particularly vulnerable archival materials tend to be irreplaceable, one-of-a-kind things, they will have unique storage space requirements.

  • Heat and moisture must be held as constant as you are able to in archives storage space areas – preferably 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit and 50-60% general moisture. These amounts should really be maintained 24 hours/day, 365 days/year. When possible, the archives space for storage need to have a split hvac system.
  • Reduce normal and light that is fluorescent. A space in the side that is north of building with few windows might be best. Any windows need to have UV filters and/or shades that are light-blocking. Prevent fluorescent light light bulbs, but if such light bulbs are essential, protect all of them with UV-blocking sheaths.
  • The region should really be protected. Split locks plus an security alarm when it comes to archives are suggested.
  • The location ought to be protected from flooding, fire, and insects. Avoid finding archives storage space spaces next to restrooms or kitchen areas, or perhaps in basements. Shelving to store archival materials must certanly be placed at least 6” from the floor. Space areas is loaded with appropriate fire suppression and detection systems.
  • Collections must certanly be kept on archival-quality heavy-duty steel shelving. The shelving needs to have a powder-coated finish, which limits damaging off-gassing. Archival/museum shelving vendors can help in designing the shelving system.
  • Allocate enough room for storage space of collections. When determining area requirements, arrange for your collections to develop. Give consideration to unique storage space gear that could be necessary (such as for instance a set file). Allow room for collections administration and processing, as well as for scientists the materials. For protection reasons, scientists must not gain access to collections storage space areas, but should make use of the collections in split reading areas, under direction.
  • For further guidance, consult the book preparing New and renovated Archival places by Thomas P. Wilsted (community of American Archivists, 2007).