Douglas and Dorothy Steere at Haverford

Written by Leslie O'Neill on November 5th, 2009

Unknown size: small.

After two and a half weeks of processing the Douglas and Dorothy Steere collection, we are finally about to start Archivists’ Toolkit. The collection, which began at about 60 linear feet, initially appeared fairly organized, with many of the boxes arranged chronologically or alphabetically, as well as placed a loose arrangement. This made processing at the start very easy, however we later encountered many boxes containing loose material, random correspondence, as well as the “box of despair” (not our label). Dealing with these materials slowed down our minimal processing considerably. Yet after spending two-three days processing loose material and correspondence, we were ready to begin the arrangement and, finally, Archivists’ Toolkit today.

Unknown size: small.

Over the past two and a half weeks, we’ve learned quite a bit about minimal processing and archival methods, including how to select appropriate series and subseries titles for intellectual arrangement in archives. We’ve also developed a better feel for what type of collection works well for minimal processing. The Douglas and Dorothy Steele collection is an appropriate choice considering how much of it was already organized chronologically and alphabetically. While the loose material has presented a challenge, we’ve remained on track to complete processing significantly quicker than traditional processing. We’ve taken advantage of the great resources surrounding us here at Haverford College, particularly Diana Peterson, Head Archivist of Special Collections and Manuscripts. Diana has been a wealth of knowledge and a great help to us on multiple occasions. We hope to be finishing this collection up by the end of next week and will continue to share our thoughts on our first official collection processing.

By Forrest Wright and Leslie O’Neill


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