The work I will be doing at The Burke is focused on processing collections and creating finding aids in order to make them accessible to everyone. All processed archival collections have some sort of finding aid attached to them. They can be in PDF form, part of a website, encoded in EAD, or created using Archivist Toolkit. My finding aids will be created in word and then uploaded to the library website in the form of a PDF. Below are some links to archival collections and the various ways that finding aids are exhibited. Brief comments on the creation of my finding aids are below.
To view abstracts and links to the finding aids please go to the “Collection Finding Aids” page of this website. These documents can be found by clicking HERE. Additionally, I was also asked to add to the Archives blog, those entries can be found by clicking HERE. The following four links were not written by me and are only used as examples for your enjoyment and enrichment.
Columbia University Protest and Activism Collection 1958-1999
William Adams Brown Papers (Burke Library) –click the online finding aid and a pdf will open
Marian McPartland Piano Jazz Collection (NYPL)
I have to add a link to the finding aid for the Presbyterian Historical Society’s Guide to the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America, 1894-1952. Not only am I using this as one of my sources for writing the “History” portion of the finding aid for my next collection, but it is one of the longest and most detailed finding aid I have come across.
As you can see the finding aids can be as detailed and as simple as is necessary, there are no hard and fast rules on length.
~22 October 2012~
WAB: American Bilateral Conversations Records, 1932-1975
I have completed processing at the highest level my first collection from beginning to end. This process included organizing the material, removing staples, replacing and labeling new folders and boxes, as well as cataloging the item into CLIO, digital asset management (DAM) by uploading the finding aid to the website, and advertising on social media forums such as Twitter and Facebook, and WordPress. The process took almost two months to complete and close to 60 hours of my time. The two months is slightly deceiving since I was only at Burke for 10 hours a week. Not only was the process fun, but it was a great learning experience. I was able to do so many things that I have never done before and Brigette was extremely patient and thorough in her instruction.
MRL #3: Arunodaya: The Autobiography of Bãbã Padamanjí, 1944
I also completed processing at the highest level this tiny collection, which consists of just one handwritten book. The interesting thing about this collection was that for someone who could have been so obscure there was a wealth of information available about Baba, he was, thankfully, a prolific writer. I loved doing the research for this collection. It was fascinating reading this man’s experience. The process was the same as above, but it only took me a week and about 10 hours, to complete the research for the collection and write up the finding aid. It is now on the shelf, ready to be used.
~4 December 2012~
WAB: Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America Records, 1905- 1971
I completed this collection at the More Product Less Process (MPLP) level. I did not remove all of the metal objects, like staples and I tried to condense the finding aid so that it was not as detailed as the previous two. It is important to remember that a finding aid is a “top down” document. If it is mentioned in the history note, biography or scope and contents note it is not necessary to mention it again in the Contents List, making it much faster to type out folders, boxes and contents than a full process would require. I was able to complete this collection in less than 2 weeks (20 hours). Revisions and approvals of the finding aid took longer than the processing of the collection. It is on the shelf, on the web and ready for research.
~10 December 2012~
WAB: State Council of Churches Records, 1943-1974
This collection was also completed at the MPLP level. It is much easier for me to describe things at a box and folder level than it was before, even my inventory lists got less detailed as I worked through each collection. I am much faster processing, researching and writing the finding aid, than when I started. I am able to be more succinct when I describe the collection in the scope and content note. I feel much more confident and feel that this is something I am actually quite good at.