ARCHIVES 2015 has ended
Tuesday, August 18 • 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Research Forum Poster: Back to the Future: Bringing Legacy Description into the Present

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With a steady influx of newly described collections, it is rarely possible to devote sufficient time and resources to provide enhanced access to processed, yet under-described resources. In 2014, the University of Delaware Library hired two residents in an effort to plan and implement such a legacy metadata project. Simultaneously, the institution had begun to transition to a new description and access workflow involving ArchivesSpace and XTF.

The team created a survey tool to identify and quantify the repository’s holdings, assessing the level of description for every collection. Ultimately, each collection will have some form of record, discoverable through both the main online library catalog and a new installation of XTF. The team found that many of the 1000+ single-item collections had no traditional description, but were represented in either a legacy accessions database or paper accession files. By ingesting this information into ArchivesSpace, they could spawn basic Resource records. The large-scale systematic approach to the harvest and enhancement of accession and finding aid data helped the description coordinator troubleshoot and document the new procedures.

Through this process, the team continually asked “When is minimal description sufficient to provide maximum effectiveness, particularly for single-item collections?” They have largely found the answer to this question in leveraging cross-departmental collaboration, processing items at accessioning, and building procedural documentation that governs local use of subject and genre terms. The expected influx of newly created names from this project prompted further collaboration with the Metadata Services Department; important names not already in the LCNAF now prompt the creation of a worksheet.

The final stage for the single-item collections will be to digitize the items and provide access via either DSpace or ArtStor’s Shared Shelf Commons. The digital content will then be linked through the finding aid and catalog record, bringing the project full circle.

About the Authors:

Tiffany Saulter is an Affiliate Assistant Librarian and Pauline A. Young Resident in the Manuscripts and Archives Department at the University of Delaware Morris Library. She recently received her MLIS in August 2014 from Indiana University and also holds a Masters in Art History from the University of Miami. Her research interests include digital archiving and curation, popular culture, fan culture and fandoms. She currently serves as the co-moderator for ArLiSNAP, the young professionals’ interest group of the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) and is excited to be a new member of SAA.

George Apodaca is an Affiliate Assistant Librarian and Pauline A. Young Resident in the Manuscripts and Archives Department at the University of Delaware Morris Library. He earned his MLIS from the University of Arizona with a Graduate Certificate in Archival Studies in December 2013. He also formed part of a select cohort of the Knowledge River program, a fellowship motivated by culturally competent principles concerned with Latino/a and Native American issues of equitable access and representation. He currently serves as SAA’s Latin American and Caribbean Cultural Heritage Archives (LACCHA) Roundtable’s online communications liaison.

Jaime Margalotti is an Associate Librarian at the University of Delaware, where she has led the implementation of descriptive standards for the Manuscripts and Archives Department since 2006. She previously held the position of Library Fellow at the North Carolina State University Library. She received her MSLS at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 2004 and her MA in History from North Carolina State University in 2002. She has presented and moderated several sessions at MARAC (the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference) and currently serves on the Membership Committee. For SAA, she has served on the Steering Committee of the Description Section and is a Key Contact for Delaware.

avatar for George L. Apodaca

George L. Apodaca

Affiliate Assistant Librarian, University of Delaware Library
Pauline A. Young Resident / Affiliate Assistant Librarian at the University of Delaware Library
avatar for Jaime Margalotti

Jaime Margalotti

Coordinator of Archival and Manuscript Description, University of Delaware Library - Special Colletions

Tuesday August 18, 2015 1:30pm - 2:30pm EDT
Room 26A Cleveland Convention Center, 300 Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44114

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