This site provides information and resources for little repositories about managing archival collections as manufactured by the employees for the HCI-PSAR task.

Contact information and links had been accurate of as 2016.

Archival rules

Crash course in archives

This forty-minute breakdown of archival theory and training is targeted for professionals at little museums and historic web internet internet sites who lack archival training but find themselves archival that is stewarding. It covers archival theory, conservation, description/cataloging, and digitization. Initially presented by HCI-PSAR Senior Project Surveyor Celia Caust-Ellenbogen during the 2014 Small Museum Association Conference (Ocean City, Md). View the presentation being a PDF.

Archives for museums

This twenty-minute breakdown of archival theory and practice is targeted for professionals at museums whom lack archival training but find themselves archival that is stewarding. It covers archival theory, conservation, description/cataloging, and resources that are additional. Adjusted from Celia Caust-Ellenbogen’s presentation above and presented by HCI-PSAR Lead venture Surveyor Sarah Leu during the 2015 Association that is mid-Atlantic of Annual Meeting (Philadelphia, PA). View the presentation as a PDF.

Next actions for HCI-PSAR participants

This twenty-minute presentation shows next steps for HCI-PSAR participating tiny repositories to advance within the care and handling of their archival collections. It covers listed here situations: brand brand new materials put into existing collection, brand brand new collection received, processing a group, beginning a digitization task, and developing a collecting policy. Initially presented by Project Surveyors Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Sarah Leu at a symposium for dollars County HCI-PSAR individuals (Mercer Museum, October 2014). View the presentation as being a PDF.

Archival practice and theory

The summary of basic archival information and resources this is certainly contained in the HCI-PSAR survey report could be installed in PDF format here.

Archivists take into account the materials they manage mainly in regards to collections in place of singular items. Understanding archival holdings in bigger groupings makes it much simpler in summary the entirety for the materials, and in addition helps keep up with the connections between interrelated products. Archivists define collections according to your concept of provenance, which can be one of many main principles of archival theory. Provenance asserts that the basic defining element of a group is its creator, that could function as specific, household, or company whom created or received the things in an assortment. Materials developed or gathered by the individual that is same team should always jane austen research paper topics be kept together. Consequently, the creators or collectors associated with the materials should figure out the collections that are various your repository. Repositories can get collections that are provenance-based creators or 3rd events, or they are able to produce collections on their own by assembling materials from various sources together by format or subject ( ag e.g., “Photograph collection,” “Civil War collection”). Within the second situation, the repository may be the creator associated with the collection (e.g., the “XYZ Historical Society picture collection”).

You should keep an archive of whenever and from who an assortment had been gotten. If a collection is donated, a deed that is signed of must certanly be continued file recording the donor name, things donated, date of present, and any appropriate or access difficulties with the collection. Likewise, if a group is obtained by purchase or any other means, a file must be maintained documenting the particulars associated with purchase. Any work this is certainly done from the collection (conservation, processing, reformatting, etc.) along with any modifications towards the collection (de-accessioning, disposition of specific products) should additionally be documented in the file. This “control file” is normally for interior just use, but can be manufactured accessible to others focusing on the collection.

Archivists’ businesses

The Philadelphia area boasts a very good and community that is supportive of, several of whom are users of the Delaware Valley Archivists Group (DVAG). A little account cost funds usage of quarterly conferences, an on-line publication regular workshops, and a listserv (electronic mailing list).

The Regional that is mid-Atlantic archives (MARAC) is just a local archivists’ team with a wider account base, from nyc to Virginia. As well as biannual seminars and a regular publication, MARAC hosts workshops and a listserv.

The community of United states Archivists may be the association that is national of. Its site keeps a criteria portal which encourages guidelines and directions on archives subjects varying from management to assessment to description and various other topics:

Learning possibilities

Publications on archival training can be found through the Society of United states Archivists (SAA) and United states Association of State and Local History (AASLH) bookstores. Some publications targeted especially for tiny businesses consist of:

  • Zamon, Christina. The Lone Arranger: Succeeding in a tiny Repository.
  • Hamill, Lois. Archives when it comes to Lay Person: helpful information to Managing Cultural Collections.
  • Carmicheal, David W. Organizing Archival reports: A Practical way of Arrangement & explanation for Small Archives. third version (2012).

Introductory archives workshops are sporadically available in the Philadelphia area because of The Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (“Understanding Archives: An Introduction to Archival Basics”) and also the Pennsylvania State Archives (“Archives Without Tears”). The United states Association for State and Local History (AASLH) offers an on-line webinar “Essentials of Archives” many times a 12 months.


The summary of conservation information and resources this is certainly contained in the HCI-PSAR survey report could be installed in PDF right here.

Preservation essentials

Managing the ecological conditions by which your archival collections are housed may be the single many essential step you takes to make sure their preservation. Make an effort to keep moderate, constant heat and general moisture amounts 24 hours/day, 365 days/year. Ideal levels are 65-70 degrees fahrenheit for heat and 40-50% for relative moisture. Above all, stay away from fluctuations that are extreme these amounts. Experience of light, specially sunlight, must certanly be held to the absolute minimum.

Utilize archival-quality storage space materials, non-acidic containers, files, and sleeves. These enclosures that are archival a “microclimate” that can help to safeguard collections from heat and moisture changes. Whenever boxes that are filling is very important not to over- or under-fill them, as this might warp materials. Spacer boards made of acid-free paperboard that is corrugated offer additional help in under-stuffed containers. Founded archival vendors consist of Gaylord Brothers, Hollinger Metal Edge, Light Impressions, and University items.

Resources to find out more

Numerous conservation resources are freely . Some suggested resources are:

  • Linking to Collections network is oriented especially for smaller museums, libraries, archives, and societies that are historical. Its features that are website to resources by object kind also as archived webinars.
  • Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) reality sheets:
  • Northeast Document Conservation Center’s free resources at Include preservation leaflets, online Preservation 101 course, and disaster response and preparedness help.
  • Regional Alliance for Preservation bibliography:

during the April 13, 2013 symposium for HCI-PSAR individuals from Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties, separate conservator and collections consultant for archives and art in some recoverable format Susan Duhl (, 610-667-0714) offered a presentation on innovative Solutions for Collections Care.

  • Summary of presentation with links to resources and contact information for Susan Duhl and Art Conservators Alliance click right here to view PDF
  • Powerpoint presentation slideshow click right here to down load as being a PDF

Facilities preparing

When you have the chance to build or relocate to facilities that are new you can find crucial dilemmas to take into account. A majority of these issues to collection and museum facilities too, but since paper is really a specially susceptible medium and archival materials tend to be irreplaceable, one-of-a-kind products, they usually have unique storage space requirements.

  • Heat and moisture must certanly be held since constant in archives storage areas – preferably 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit and 50-60% general moisture. These amounts should really be maintained 24 hours/day, 365 days/year. If at all possible, the archives space for storing needs to have a split hvac system.
  • Reduce normal and light that is fluorescent. A space on the north region of the building with few windows could be well. Any windows needs to have UV filters and/or shades that are light-blocking. Prevent fluorescent light light bulbs, however if such light bulbs , protect these with UV-blocking sheaths.
  • The region must certanly be protected. Split hair plus an home security system when it comes to archives are suggested.
  • The region ought to be protected from flooding, fire, and bugs. Avoid finding archives storage space spaces next to bathrooms or kitchen areas, or perhaps in basements. Shelving to store archival materials must be placed at least 6” from the flooring. Space areas must certanly be loaded with appropriate fire suppression and detection systems.
  • Collections must certanly be kept on archival-quality heavy-duty steel shelving. The shelving must have a powder-coated finish, which limits harmful off-gassing. Archival/museum shelving vendors can help in designing the shelving system.
  • Allocate enough area for storage space of collections. When space that is calculating, policy for the collections to cultivate. Start thinking about unique storage space gear that would be necessary (such as for example an appartment file). Allow room for collections administration and processing, and for scientists to make use of the materials. For safety reasons, scientists must not gain access to collections storage space areas, but should utilize the collections in separate reading areas, under direction.
  • For further guidance, consult the book preparing New and Remodeled Archival places by Thomas P. Wilsted (community of American Archivists, 2007).