Manuscript Repositories Section meeting

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:

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 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:, and the “Uncovering Hidden Audiovisual Media Documenting Postmodern Art” grant project page at 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.


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