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

This site provides information and resources for little 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 fundamentals

Crash course in archives

This forty-minute breakdown of archival theory and training is targeted for professionals at small museums and historic internet internet 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 archival that is stewarding. It covers archival theory, preservation, 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 being a PDF.

Next actions for HCI-PSAR participants

This twenty-minute presentation shows next steps for HCI-PSAR participating tiny repositories to advance when you look at the care and handling of their archival collections. It covers the next situations: brand brand new materials put into collection that is existing brand new collection received, processing an assortment, beginning a digitization project, 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, October 2014). View the presentation as being a PDF.

Archival theory and training

The breakdown of basic archival information and resources that is contained in the HCI-PSAR survey report may be installed in PDF format here.

Archivists consider the materials they handle mainly with regards to collections as opposed to singular items. Understanding archival holdings in bigger groupings makes it much simpler to conclude the entirety regarding the materials, and in addition helps keep up with the connections between interrelated products. Archivists define collections according towards the concept of provenance, which can be one of several main principles of archival theory. Provenance asserts that the defining that is basic of a group is its creator, which may end up being the specific, household, or company whom created or received the things in an assortment. Materials produced or gathered because of the individual that is same team must be held together. Consequently, the creators or enthusiasts associated with the materials should figure out the collections that are various your repository. Repositories can obtain collections that are provenance-based creators or 3rd events, or they are able to produce collections on their own by assembling materials from different sources together by format or subject ( ag 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 critical to keep accurate documentation of whenever and from who a group ended up being gotten. If an assortment is donated, a deed that is signed of ought to be maintained 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 is maintained documenting the particulars regarding the purchase. Any work that is done in the collection (conservation, processing, reformatting, etc.) also any modifications into the collection (de-accessioning, disposition of specific things) should be documented in also the file. This “control file” is usually for internal only use, but could be manufactured offered to others taking care of the collection.

Archivists’ companies

The Philadelphia area boasts a stronger and community that is supportive of, a lot of whom are people in the Delaware Valley Archivists Group (DVAG). A little account charge funds usage of quarterly conferences, an on-line newsletter regular workshops, and a listserv (electronic email list).

The Regional that is mid-Atlantic archives (MARAC) is just a local archivists’ team with a wider account base, from ny to Virginia. Along with biannual seminars and a regular publication, MARAC hosts workshops and a listserv.

The community of United states Archivists could be the nationwide relationship of archivists. Its site keeps a requirements portal which encourages recommendations and recommendations on archives subjects varying from management to assessment to description and many other topics:

Learning opportunities

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 designed for tiny 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 Method that is practical of & 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”) together with Pennsylvania State Archives organizational leadership research paper topics (“Archives Without Tears”). The United states Association for State and Local History (AASLH) offers an on-line webinar “Principles of Archives” many times a 12 months.


The summary of conservation information and resources this is certainly within the HCI-PSAR survey report may be installed in PDF right here.

Preservation principles

Managing the ecological conditions by which your archival collections are housed could be the solitary many step that is important takes to make sure their conservation. You will need to keep moderate, constant heat and general moisture amounts 24 hours/day, 365 days/year. Ideal levels are 65-70 degrees fahrenheit for heat and 40-50% for general moisture. Above all, avoid extreme fluctuations in these amounts. Contact with light, especially sunshine, must be held to the very least.

Utilize archival-quality storage materials, non-acidic bins, files, and sleeves. These enclosures that are archival to produce a “microclimate” collections from heat and moisture changes. Whenever boxes that are filling is very important not to over- or under-fill them, since this could easily warp materials. Spacer boards made of acid-free corrugated paperboard should offer additional help in under-stuffed bins. Founded archival manufacturers 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 internet. Some suggested resources are:

  • Linking to Collections network is oriented designed for smaller museums, libraries, archives, and historic communities. Its website features links to resources by item type also as archived webinars.
  • Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) reality sheets:
  • Northeast Document Conservation Center’s free resources at Include preservation leaflets, online Preservation 101 course, and disaster response and preparedness support.
  • Regional Alliance for Preservation 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 in some recoverable format Susan Duhl (, 610-667-0714) offered a presentation on imaginative Solutions for Collections Care.

  • Summary of presentation with links to resources and 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 preparing

When you have build or relocate to facilities that are new you can find essential problems . A number of these issues are typical to library and museum facilities aswell, but since paper is just a specially susceptible medium and archival materials in many cases are irreplaceable, one-of-a-kind products, they will have unique storage requirements.

  • Heat and moisture must certanly be held because constant as you can in archives storage space areas – preferably 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit and 50-60% general humidity. These amounts must certanly be maintained 24 hours/day, 365 days/year. whenever feasible, the archives space for storage needs to have a split hvac system.
  • Reduce normal and light that is fluorescent. A space regarding the side that is north of building with few windows is most readily useful. Any windows must have UV filters and/or shades that are light-blocking. Prevent light that is fluorescent, however, if such light bulbs are essential, cover them with UV-blocking sheaths.
  • The region must certanly be safe. Separate hair as well as an security alarm when it comes to archives are suggested.
  • The location is protected from flooding, fire, and bugs. Avoid finding archives storage space spaces next to restrooms or kitchen areas, or in basements. Shelving to store archival materials should really be placed at least 6” from the flooring. Storage areas ought to be loaded with appropriate fire suppression and detection systems.
  • Collections should always be saved on archival-quality heavy-duty steel shelving. The shelving need to have a powder-coated finish, which limits harmful off-gassing. Archival/museum shelving vendors can help in designing the shelving system.
  • Allocate space that is sufficient storage space of collections. When space that is calculating, policy for the collections to cultivate. Give consideration to unique storage space gear necessary ( a flat file). Allow space for collections administration and processing, and for scientists to utilize the materials. For security reasons, scientists must not get access to collections storage space areas, but should make use of the collections in split reading areas, under direction.
  • For further guidance, consult the written book Planning New and renovated Archival places by Thomas P. Wilsted (community of American Archivists, 2007).

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