Collections Management

By Caitlin Eckard

Even though I am working on the same project, there are so many issues at play here. The most recent and annoying issue has been the numbers assigned to the photos I have been scanning. There really is no organization between years, truck models or makes, or subject matter. They are all heaped together with no rhyme or reason. Hopefully, once this giant project is finished we can organize photos based on certain criteria, which would make them easier to find for reference questions. Also, I know I have mentioned this in previous posts, storage is really an issue here. More specifically storage and care of the photos/ negatives needs to be better. A lot of these items are bent, folded, or wrinkled simply because they have not been stored properly for many years. However, that is a project that other interns have been working on.

This week I have been more focused on photographing the negatives with no prints so that they may be added to the archive software. However, many of the negatives are loose, with no number or anything written on them. in the lucky moments when there is a reference number written, it takes a magnifying glass to find the number. This brings up the question of collections management. I cannot stress enough how important it is to organize collections in such a way that multiple people can access them. I have experienced this problem in many archive situations, where only one person has the knowledge to find items. This makes things very difficult when there is a high turnover rate for these employees. Every time a new library director comes in, they basically have to start from scratch to figure out how their predecessor organized collections. However, I am extremely happy to be part of the team that is making this library a better working institution.

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