Manuscript Repositories Section meeting
Guest author Lauren Goodley
Council Liaison Report, Jump In Too/Two Lightening Round, and Uncovering Hidden AV and Mixed Media in MS Collections
The Manuscript Repositories Section business meeting was held from 12:30-2:30 on Friday. The meeting was led by incoming Chair Elizabeth Wilkinson. The meeting began with a report from the Council Liaison, which included:
- Council’s approved recommendations for Best Practices for Volunteers (http://www2.archivists.org/standards/best-practices-for-volunteers-in-archives) and Best Practices for Interns (http://www2.archivists.org/standards/best-practices-for-internships-as-a-component-of-graduate-archival-education).
- There was also mention of the “evolving scholarly record,” and SAA’s commitment to providing direction for stewardship of digital materials to Manuscript Repositories, as well as a framework for conversation about this topic. The “Demystifying Born Digital Expert Advisory Group,” created for this purpose, is led by Jackie Dooley and Ricky Erway. The group is under the auspices of OCLC, and necessarily includes many SAA members. OCLC has supported SAA and the Manuscript Section through its Demystifying Born Digital research projects (http://www.oclc.org/research/activities/borndigital.html), and the MS section has followed their leadership and research through the “Jump In!” program for the past two years (http://www2.archivists.org/groups/manuscript-repositories-section/jump-in-initiative).
- SAA is trying new things for the next annual meeting held in Cleveland. First is the location–the meeting will not be held at a convention hotel. The program committee is especially interested in session proposals around the topics of advocacy, advancement of the profession, new ideas and debates, and creative content and delivery (of the session). Also, there will be no more Roundtable and Section endorsements, “pop-up” on-the-fly sessions and late-submission (timely) sessions will be encouraged. The deadline for regular submissions is October 8.
- SAA is encouraging case studies on archival ethics. 1500-500 words on archival practice or issues worthy of debate. See more here http://www2.archivists.org/groups/committee-on-ethics-and-professional-conduct/call-for-case-studies-in-archival-ethics.
- Finally, James Roth was introduced as the incoming Council Liaison, and members were encouraged to contact him for information or to give feedback to SAA Council.
After the business report, the section acknowledged Jump In Too/Two participants with buttons and the Van Halen song “Jump.” The entire list of participants can be found on the MS Section page at http://www2.archivists.org/groups/manuscript-repositories-section/jump-in-too-2014-results. Then, several participants reported on their Jump In projects. Similar to last year, it was interesting to hear how folks attempted a difficult project in a new area (born digital), and it was nice to support our colleagues by giving them a voice at the section meeting. However, the “lightening round” provided little practical advice, in my opinion, as each repository, collection, and materials are so different from each other.
Then, Megan McShea presented on her work on A/V materials at the Archives of American Art. McShea has been active in exploring and researching best practices for processing A/V materials (see: http://www.archivesnext.com/?p=3617, and the “Uncovering Hidden Audiovisual Media Documenting Postmodern Art” grant project page at http://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/projects/clir). McShea’s project is large enough–she supervises several processing archivists–and long enough–a 3 year project beginning in 2012–to have some valuable sharable results. From my notes:
- Write a unique ID on disk/media upon accessioning.
- On estimating storage needs: on average, disks are generally half full/use half the maximum capacity of the medium.
- DACS 4.2 has a technical access note. Use this for born digital materials that have note yet been described or accessible (to keep them from being “hidden” and undescoverable).
- Photographing the physical media can be an easier way to capture label information (often hand-written), and can also be used in the processing guide and processing instruction.
- AV rick collections don’t take more time to process, but they do increase the extent substantially.
- Note: format is not a title (for example “30 audio tapes”)
McShea ended by noting that she was interested in hearing feedback from others on their experiences, outcomes, and benchmarks in AV processing.
The Section meeting was adjourned, until next year.