More Product, More Processing: The CME Group Collections
My portion of the Midwest Archives Conference presentation from session #501, "Seeing the Details in the Big Picture: Getting a Handle on Processing."
Abstract: Archival collections come in all sizes, formats, and subjects, and it is impossible for any archival education program to cover all situations that professional archivists encounter. Most arrangement and description standards work best when applied to collections of a certain size; other collections pose unique challenges that lie beyond the scope of these standards. Plans can (and often do) change as collections are processed and as researchers and others put them to use. This panel will discuss strategies and techniques for processing large and small collections on both macro and micro levels and their long-term impact on users. We will draw on our experiences with manuscript and records collections of varying sizes to discuss the use of MPLP and other processing techniques and share some of our methods for dealing with the nitty-gritty details of everyday processing. Proper planning is essential to processing and paramount when a collection comprises hundreds of linear feet, yet it is often difficult to develop and implement processing plans when drawing on your experience alone. This session will be useful to all archivists staring down their own unprocessed backlogs and prospective archivists curious about the daily work behind that ever-nebulous term “processing.”