Christiana Dobrzynski Grippe

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Giving 110%: Processing Completed!

Thursday, November 6th, 2014
Training the first cohort of processors.

Training the first cohort of processors.

I’m pleased to announce that our 12-month processing phase of the project has been completed successfully! Overall, the amazing project team efficiently processed 45 collections at 16 repositories in 50 weeks of work, totaling 1685.07 linear feet at an average speed of 3.4 hours per linear foot. We exceeded our goal of processing at a rate of 4 hours per linear foot, which allowed us to process an additional 145.86 linear feet more than we originally anticipated and promised to CLIR in the same timeframe. That’s fulfilling 110% of our linear footage commitment to CLIR!

I am immensely proud of the work that Jessica Hoffman, Annalise Berdini, Steven Duckworth, Megan Evans, Cortney Frank, Carey Hedlund, Alina Josan, Chase Markee, Amanda Mita, and Evan Peugh accomplished during our challenging and ambitious project. Please stay tuned to the blog in the coming weeks and months as I post some terrific reflections written by the team members, as well as my own project documentation, including discussing the challenges of the project, what we learned this time around, and recommendations. Be sure to check out our Flickr page for action photos of processing, too. It’s been a wonderful and productive 12 months!

 

We’re back! Bootcamp, processing, and progress so far…

Friday, April 4th, 2014
Training_Processing

New project team during minimal processing bootcamp at the University of Pennsylvania.

Hello again! Time has flown by, and we’re just getting the blog started again by recapping the current PACSCL/CLIR Hidden Collections Processing Project of 2013-2014. I assumed responsibilities of Project Manager in August 2013 and it’s been a whirlwind of activity from the very first day. I had to quickly assess and plan how we would minimally process 46 collections containing materials from the 18th to 21st centuries, all specifically related to Philadelphia history. Processing will require us to process at a rate of 4 hours per linear foot at 16 different repositories over the course of one year.  In addition to 12 veteran participating repositories, we welcome four new institutions to the project, including two non-PACSCL members. With this project, we hope to refine, confirm, and better establish guidelines for applying minimal processing to a wide range of collections and types of institutions and creating high-quality finding aids for our ever-expanding collaborative site.

Surveying at Germantown Historical Society.

Surveying at Germantown Historical Society.

As you may recall, this project builds upon the predecessor processing project lead by Holly Mengel and Courtney Smerz from 2009 to 2011. Having served as one of the processors on that project, I began my work as Project Manager already very familiar with the “PACSCL” methods and approaches established by the first team. My familiarity with these approaches, along with additional archives management experience, gave me a bit of a running start, but I immediately found that I have my work cut out for me. More about the challenges and lessons I’ve learned so far will be chronicled in later posts.

In August, I quickly got started by surveying the collections selected for the grant that had not been surveyed previously by the fabulous PACSCL Survey Initiative Project. I followed and expanded upon the guidelines already previously established in earlier projects to assess these new collections. In September and October, I was able to assemble a fabulous project team of six processors and one assistant, who all attended the bootcamp training week designed to establish a good overview of the PACSCL approaches to minimal processing and the Archivists’ Toolkit. After training, I assigned pairs of processors to our first three repositories (Temple University, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Union League of Philadelphia) to kick off the year’s-worth of processing work ahead of us.

First day of processing at Temple University.

First day of processing at Temple University.

Already with many challenges and successes along the way that will be detailed further in the coming weeks on the blog, we hit our six-month mark this week right on track! At our halfway point in the project come mid-April, we will have processed an approximate total of 762 linear feet for 22 collections in 9 repositories, at an average rate of 3.45 hours per linear foot. Please stay tuned as we continue to add more frequent updates about our progress, lessons learned, and interesting finds!