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How To Manage Processing In Archives And Special Collections

How to Manage Processing in Archives and Special Collections

Every archives strives to have an active, well-planned processing program—but achieving this is no easy task. How to Manage Processing in Archives and Special Collections breaks down what you need to know to establish or revitalize your processing program, delivering effective methods to help you succeed. This resource is packed with information about:

  • Creating a framework for a processing program, including developing processing policies, priorities, and strategies;
  • Managing the day-to-day work of processing assessment techniques;
  • Implementing best practices and standards;
  • Administering a "patron-based approach" to managing processing;
  • Effectively assessing the demands for descriptions and item-level cataloging to make collections available more swiftly; and
  • Applying standards in the adoption of trends and new concepts in processing and in handling outside demands.

Whether you manage numerous archivists, operate as one member of a processing team, or operate as a lone arranger, How to Manage Processing in Archives and Special Collections is your go-to guide for developing and managing a processing program. With an effective processing program in place, your archives will be better positioned to help users find the materials they need.

ISBN 1-931666-434 

American Archivists

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1 Processing Program
  • Components of a Processing Program
  • Defining the Mission
  • Planning the Program
  • Iplementing and Adjusting
  • Decision Making and Accountability
  • Evaluating the Final Product
  • Celebrating
  • A Final Thought
  • 2 Processing Priorities
  • Developing Processina Priorities
  • Common Criteria for Priorities
  • Strategies for Prioritization
  • Final Considerations in Developing Policies
  • 3 Managing Processing
  • Workflow for Individual Collections
  • Management Strategies and Techniques
    • The Basics of Processing
    • Minimal or Streamlined Processing
    • Lone Arranger
    • Team or Group Processing
    • Processing Manuals
    • Processing Work Plans
    • Processing Checklist
  • Special Considerations
  • Reprocessing
    • Accruals and Additions
    • Legacy
    • Artificial Collections
  • Beyond Paper
    • Audiovisual Materials
    • Electronic Files
    • Objects
  • A Final Thought
  • 4 Preservation Administration
  • Incorporating Preservation into Processing Activities
  • Incorporating MPLP and Preservation into Processing Activities
  • Preservation Assessment and Planning Tools
  • Audiovisual Assessment Tools
  • A Final Thought
  • 5 Impact of Description, Standards, and Innovation
  • Incorporating New Standards
  • Web-based Finding Aids
  • Processing and Collection Management Systems
  • Digitization Concerns
  • Alternative Access Methods
  • Outreach: Web 2.0 and Processing
  • A Final Thought
  • 6 Training and Managing Processing Staff
  • Skill Sets and Responsibilities
    • Professional Processing Archivists
    • Paraprofessional Processing Staff
    • Students, Interns, and Volunteers
  • Grant and Processing Project Staff Considerations
  • Assigning Processing Work
  • Development, Training, and Continuing Education
    • Training for New Staff Members
    • Continuing Education
  • Organization and Performance Evaluation
  • A Final Thought
  • 7 Evaluation and Assessment
  • Accountability
  • Evaluation
    • Statistics
    • Rubrics
  • Processing Costs and Rates
  • Assessment
  • Benchmarking
  • A Final Thought
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliographic Essay
  • General Works
  • Manuals
  • Related Archival Publications
  • Planning
  • Processing Costs
  • Processing Strategies
  • Backlog Management
  • More Product Less Process (MPLP)
  • Electronic and Digital-born Records
  • Preservation
  • Providing Access
  • Social Networking Technologies
  • Archival Management Systems
  • Assessment
  • Administration/Management
  • Appendix 1: Examples of Processing plans
  • Appendix 2: Website Resources
  • Index

Library of Congress Catalog Listing

Personal name
Main title
  • How to manage processing in archives and special collections / Pam Hackbart-Dean and Elizabeth Slomba.
  • Chicago, IL : Society of American Archivists, c2012.


  • vi, 147 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.


  • 1931666431 (alk. paper)

LC classification (full)

  • CD971 .H33 2012

LC classification (partial)

Related names



  • Includes bibliographical references and index.


  • 2012024050

Dewey class no.

  • 025

Type of material

  • Book


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