Every pile of unruly records (letters, photos, diaries, vital records, maps, books, and anything else that documents human life–in physical or digital format) is like a raw gem, its spark hidden under dust and neglect. Records are not dead, because long after we are dead, they carry our memories. They burst with life within and yearn for the structure and order that will bring out the information they carry.
Do you dread the task and think it is a loss of time and not worth it?
Let me show you what your records have to tell. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution–we will discuss and find together what you value and what you want to do with your “stuff.” Archives come in many kinds: archives of persons, organizations, associations, businesses, etc. Each has its own requirements and need a tailored approach.
I am respectful to and have particular experience with denominational and minority archives, and will be sensitive to your needs and requirements.
See specific projects completed here.
What I can do for you:
Would you like to brainstorm about possible ideas and solutions for your records?
I will come to your place and, according to your wishes, conduct a rough or detailed survey of your holdings.
I will listen carefully to understand your personal, organizational, or business needs and goals, and will discuss with you alternatives.
Yes, you can throw away papers or electronic records too!
I will go through your documents and will appraise them for their archival value. I can show you how to reduce their volume, if you so wish. Not all need to be kept–even though the historian in me does like to keep every little scrap of paper! Some papers might have to be destroyed, due to personal identifying information contained within, others might be important for your or your country’s history and they might be better off if donated to a repository.
The ultimate goal of archival processing is access: facilitating the ‘findability’ of records, and enabling their retrieval.
In order to do so, I can provide the following services:
- Arrangement: Identifying the underlying intellectual and physical organization of the records, or establishing order, if there is none.
- Description: Describing records according to international standards to promote their ‘findability’ and, if so desired, their interoperability with other collections.
- Access: Helping you decide on how you envision access to the documents.
We are all eager to make everything digital. But have you thought “what after”?
We can discuss what you want digitized and why, and will decide on a content management system that will help you host the digital objects, easily retrieve them, and preserve them long-term. Taking into consideration the speed with which technology changes and the fragility of digital records, a sound digital preservation strategy needs to be put in place, so that you will not lose your information in the future. Finally, I will show you ways to put all or some of your digitized material online, either as an online exhibit or as an online archives.
Often repositories are too caught up with the everyday working of their institution and do not have the time or personnel to take extra steps that will promote their collections and will bring more patrons into their reading rooms or visitors to their websites.
I can help you
– Develop events and programming to showcase your collections
– Study your collections and develop concise projects that can be done by interns or volunteers
– Help you find funds by seeking relevant national or international grants
– Update your finding aids and inventories for your collection
– Undertake projects on your behalf and oversee them
New programs, outreach, and initiatives can enhance the image of an organization, be a great publicity tool, as well as an opportunity to approach donors who will consider giving for worthy causes.
Images: “Owl Silhouette,” “French Handwriting,” “Typewriter Silhouette,” “Steampunk Gear,” “College Campus” (Graphics Fairy).