Strategies for Advancing Hidden Collections
This resource library has been prepared for gallery, library, archive, and museum (GLAM) workers engaged in collection processing projects. Compiled by experts from the GLAM communities, the library is arranged to support the content of the CLIR Strategies for Advancing Hidden Collections (SAHC) webinar series. A wide range of solutions and suggestions for a variety of collecting organizations appear below; inclusion of links on this page does not necessarily represent an endorsement of an organization or a product by CLIR or any individual connected with the SAHC project.
Joy M. Banks, Consultant
- Angela Kipp, Collection Manager, TECHNOSEUM and Administrator, Registrar Trek
- Rosemary Pleva Flynn, Principal Librarian, Library and Information Services Team Lead, Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota
- Sarah Leu, Project Archivist, Historical Society of Pennsylvania
- Beth Knazook, Library Juice Academy and Queen's University
- Jessica Bitely, Director of Preservation Services, Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC)
- Yvonne Ng, Senior Archivist, WITNESS
- Ellen Ryan, Head of Special Collections and Archives and Assistant Professor, Idaho State University
- Stephanie Gaub Antequino, Memorabilia Archivist, Planet Hollywood International
- Casey Davis, Project Manager, American Archive of Public Broadcasting
- Tamar Evangelista-Dougherty, Consultant
- Linda Hocking, Curator of Library and Archives, Litchfield Historical Society
- Daniel Johnson, Digital Preservation Librarian, University of Iowa
- Holly Mengel, Manuscripts Cataloging Librarian, University of Pennsylvania
- Matthew Peek, Military Collections Archivist, State Archives of North Carolina
- Kelly Revak, Processing Archivist, Library of Congress
Where to begin: Basics of project planning for GLAM organizations
The resources in this section will help lay the foundation for successful project planning and management.
Additional information on the January 11, 2017 webinar can be found here.
- Rough cut of recording: http://clir.adobeconnect.com/p1skqeqc76b/
- PowerPoint file of speaker's presentation: https://www.clir.org/hiddencollections/sahc/sahc_webinar1_files/sahc_webinar1_slides/
- Transcript of presentation: https://www.clir.org/hiddencollections/sahc/sahc_webinar1_files/sahc_webinar1_transcript/
Participants and viewers of the recording are encouraged to offer feedback through this evaluation: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/L9CYDRQ.
- CLIR 2010 Hidden Collections Symposium
- CLIR 2015 Hidden Collections Symposium & Unconference
- CLIR Hidden Collections Registry
- WebJunction Planning & Coordination Topic Page
- Connecting to Collections Care Resources
Selecting the best collection management system
Note: Some of these resources may be dated but can still contain useful information. SEE ALSO Collection access: Describing, cataloging, and processing with the future in mind
For all institution types
- CarLibrary.org - Collection Management Systems - A detailed resource discussing all aspects of selecting a management system including a number of links to additional resources. The page also includes a link to a summary table of a wide range of CMS software systems.
- Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Museum Collections Management System - Tips on selecting the right museum CMS software from History Associates, Inc..
- Collections Management Software - A list with additional information on software systems designed specifically for the museum collection management environment from the Museum Association of New York.
- Museum Collections Management Systems: One Size Does NOT Fit All - Masters Thesis by Elana C. Carpinone, Seton Hall University, May 2010
- Collection management systems: Museums and the Web 2011 - A listing and explanation of collection management systems represented at the Museums and the Web 2011 event.
- The Small Libraries Manager's Handbook, edited by Alice Graves. Includes several chapters on system selection.
- Archival Management Software - A report for the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) by Lisa Spiro, January 2009
Collection Prioritization & Assessment
- PACSCL Survey Initiative - Includes information and resources from the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL) Consortial Survey Initiative project to assess backlogged archival collections.
- Preservation Self-Assessment Program (PSAP) - A free, online tool that helps collection managers prioritize efforts to improve conditions of collections developed by the University of Illinois, University Library through the IMLS
- Taking Stock and Making Hay: Archival Collections Assessment - A report from OCLC by Martha O'Hara Conway and Merrilee Proffitt, July 2011.
- Strategy and Priorities for Cataloging the National Woman's Party Collection - A report from the Sewall-Belmont House and Museum that can be used as a sample collection analysis tool
- Benchmarks in Collections Care - The resources page provides access to information on Benchmarks in Collection Care as well as the self assessment checklist to aid in establishing realistic colleciton goals. This is a resource provided by the Collections Trust.
- Survey Instrument for Audio & Moving Image Collections - A resource developed by the Columbia University Libraries to inventory and assess audio and moving image materials.
- AV Compass - A free online resource from the Bay Area Video Coalition to help organize, preserve, and access AV collections.
- Special Collections Materials Survey Instrument - A resource developed by the Columbia University Libraries to evaluate under-processed archival collections.
- Standards and Excellence Program (StEPs) - A self-study program developed by the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) designed specifically for small to mid-sized organizations.
- American Alliance of Museums (AAM) Assessment Programs - A page describing the Continuum of Excellence to help move organizations towards better stewardship of their collections.
- IMLS Collections Assessment for Preservation Program (CAP) - A grant program through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Deadline for applications vary.
- NDSA Levels of Digital Preservation - Includes explanations and uses for maintaining and preserving digital files in archival settings.
- Library Workflow Exchange - A space for libraries to share and find workflows and best practices across institutions.
- Workflows from the Documenting Modern Living project - Examples of workflows from the Documenting Modern Living: Digitizing the Miller House and Garden Collection Tumblr page
Project Management Tools
- Improve Your Collaboration: 18 Project Management Tools for Marketing Agencies - Not GLAM specific, but a resource by Jami Oetting on selecting a project management tool with some suggested software.
- 14 best free project management software programs 2016: Great project management software tools that don't cost a penny - By Matt Egan and posted on TechWorld, includes software and brief explanations of each.
- 21 Ways to Excel at Project Management - A detailed step by step tool from ProjectSmart for successful project management from beginning to end.
Building resources and relationships: Determining what and who you need
The resources in this section will help guide project managers through the process of estimating project costs, communicating costs with others, and building relationships for support.
Additional information on the January 18, 2017 webinar can be found here.
- Rough cut of recording: http://clir.adobeconnect.com/p6l7b7bu74m/
- PowerPoint file of speaker's presentation: https://www.clir.org/hiddencollections/sahc/sahc_webinar2_files/sahc_webinar2_slides
- Transcript of presentation: https://www.clir.org/hiddencollections/sahc/sahc_webinar2_files/sahc_webinar2_transcript/
- Evaluation: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LC5M3B5
- WebJunction Budgets & Funding Resource Page - Resources, webinars, and other information on budget planning and development for libraries that can be applied to all GLAM organizations.
- Connecting to Collections Care Resources Page - For more information on budgets and increasing collection support, select the Increasing Support for Collections Care from the list.
- MAP Resources for Fund Development - Resources from the MAP for Nonprofits, serving nonprofits through provision of consulting and training.
- Free Management Library All About Nonprofit Fundraising Resources - A extensive listing of resources for nonprofits from the Free Management Library, a service of Authenticity Consulting, LLC.
- Nonprofit Sustainability: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability - 2010 book by Jeanne Bell, Jan Masaoka, and Steve Zimmerman.
Buy-in from Board of Directors, Community, Volunteers
- Community Involvement in Museums, Archives and Libraries: Toolkit for improving practice - A pdf resource developed by COGS (Communities and Organizations - Growth and Support) for Yorkshire Museums Council, 2002. The toolkit includes a number of practical resources and guides for strengthening community involvement.
Calculating processing time, staff time, and estimating supply costs
- Computing the Total Cost of Archival Processing - A technical leaflet by Thomas Wilsted produced by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC), 1989.
- George Washington University Digitization Cost Calculator - (unavailable)
- Cost Finding Exercise - Word Document Download. An exercise by Elizabeth Rose completed during her masters work at Southern Connecticut State University. The exercise considers the direct and indirect costs of processing an archival collection and includes references for additional information.
- Beneficial Shocks: The Place of Processing-Cost Analysis in Archival Administration - Research article by Paul Ericksen and Robert Shuster from American Archivist, Winter 1995. Includes discussion of both theoretical analysis and practical application.
- Rates of Processing Manuscripts and Arhives - PDF download. An article by Karen Temple Lynch and Thomas E. Lynch from The Midwestern Archivist, p. 25-35, Vol. VII, No. 1, 1982 available through JSTOR. Provides an analysis of processing rates from various grant proposals and considers how variable levels of processing affect cost.
- Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library (Yale University) Processing Estimates - A guidelines developed in 2015 to consider the cost to process, arrange, and describe collections of personal papers.
- The Cost of Processing - A blog post from 2010 by Emily Walters from North Carolina State University Libraries reflecting on estimating costs for their Changing the Landscape: Exposing the Legacy of Modernist Architects and Landscape Architects multi-year project.
- Costs of Cataloging - A chapter by Felix Reichmann in Library Trends 2 (1953) providing historical context for cataloging cost analysis.
- Cost Analysis of an Automated and Manual Cataloging and Book Processing System - An article by Joselyn Druschel from the Journal of Library Automation (Vol. 14, no. 1, March 1981). Showing the historical argument for automating cataloging and processing to reduce cost.
- Assessing the Cost and Value of Bibliographic Control - An article by Erin Stalbert and Christopher Cronin from Library Resources & Technical Services (Vol. 55, No. 3, 2011) published by the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS). Provides a detailed discussion of the past and present issues with estimating cataloging costs.
- Improving Library Management by Using Cost Analysis Tools: A Case Study for Cataloguing Processes - Article by Lorena Siguenza-Guzman, Alexandra Van den Abbeele, and Dirk Cattrysse from LIBER Quarterly, the Journal of the Association of European Research Libraries. This was originally presented at the LIBER conference in 2013 and discusses the application of TDABC (Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing) procedures in libraries.
- RBMS Page on Cataloging - Includes thoughts and definitions on cataloging from the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL. A discussion of cataloging metrics is included as well as a resource list.
Communicating to people who need to approve the project
- 8 Best Practices for Stakeholder Engagement - An article by John Parker from Enfocus Solutions (2012). Offers practical suggestions to engage and communicate with project stakeholders.
- Active Stakeholder Participation: An Agile Best Practice - A detailed discussion of stakeholder engagement from Agile Modeling including definitions and useful charts.
- Programming on a Shoestring Budget - Video presentation from David Mixdorf from South Sioux City Public Library (NE) presented in February 2013 for the Big Talk from Small Libraries online conference.
- Template for Strategic Communications Plan - Practical template developed for use by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation including worksheets to develop a new plan.
Funding Sources and Grant Writing
- Grant Opportunities - A listing of available grants compiled by Past Perfect Museum Software.
- Library Grants blog - A blog maintained by Stephanie Gerding and Pam MacKellar, authors of Winning Grants: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians with Multimedia Tutorials and Grant Development Tools. Updated regularly with available opportunities.
- IMLS Museums for America grant - A grant program from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) with the goal to "strengthen the ability of an individual museum to serve its public."
- NEH Preservation Assistance Grants (PAG) - These PAG funds help small and mid-sized institutions improve their ability to preserve and care for significant historical collections.
- Creating Humanities Communities - A grant program from the NEH to help stimu,late and proliferate meaningful humanities activities in underserved areas of the United States and territories. Limited geographic regions qualify.
- Connecting to Collections Care Funding for Collections Care - A webinar recorded November 2010 presented by Debra Hess Norris and Lee Price. The webinar page also includes related books for additional resources.
- Connecting to Collections Care Fundraising for Collections Care - A webinar series recorded in 2013 with sessions on Fundamentals, Finding Support, Cultivating Donors and Members, Writing Proposals, and Creative Fundraising. The series page includes additional links to resources, slides, and sample documents.
- Funding & Fundraising for Small Libraries - An on-demand downloadable webinar from the LibraryJournal series Best Practices from America's Best Small Libraries. Presented in 2015 by Mary Beth Stenger and Cheryl Clay (registration required). A review of the webinar is available from Didi Yunginger.
- Ten points to increase your grant writing success - A one page technical bulletin by Cecil Carter from the Oklahoma Museums Association (January 2008).
Making the most of people: Recruitment, retention, and recognition
The resources in this section consider how volunteers, interns, and staff fit into the project picture.
Additional information on the January 25, 2017 webinar can be found here.
Links to the webinar recording, slides, and a transcript will be posted here when available.
Teens and Student Workers
- No Budget? No Time? No Problem! - Blog post from the Ohio Library Council by RoseMary Honnold discussing how community teens can be engaged in the work of collections.
- To the Big Stage on a Small Budget: From Special Collections to Archive 2.0 - A presentation by Julie Pinnell for the 2016 Big Talk From Small Libraries online conference discussing the use of Doane College students to process the college archive.
- Archival Internships: Creating Real World Learning Beyond the Classroom - An article from the College & University Libraries Section (CULS) of the Kansas Library Association by Lorraine Madway (CULS Proceedings, Vol. 1, 2011, no. 1). Presents findings from the internship program at Wichita State University Libraries and offers practical advice for establishing an internship program.
- Undergraduate Library Internships and Professional Success - A downloadable pdf poster by staff at Gettysburg College reporting on the impact undergraduate library internships had on the development of student career goals.
- Training Future Librarians and Enhancing Digital and Print Collections: M-LEAD II Comes to a Successful End - A 2015 report by Kim Loconto on the IMLS funded Museum Library Education and Digitization [M-LEAD] grant which allowed interns to gain a wide range of experiences with practical, hands-on projects.
- Creating a Successful (and Legal) Internship Program - A 2015 article from Business News Daily by Nicole Fallon Taylor. A basic overview for creating an internship program that will be beneficial to the intern, productive for the organization, and meet current employment laws.
- Best Practices for Internships as Components of Graduate Archival Education - A downloadable best practices guide from the Society of American Archivists (SAA).
Volunteers and Staff
- Connecting to Collections Care Staff and Volunteer Management for Collections Care - Webinar 6 in the Collections Care Basics: Where Do I Begin? webinar series. Originally presented by Donia Conn in 2013. The webinar section contains links to the recording, PowerPoint presentation, and a number of additional readings and resources related to the topic.
- Seeding Engagement and Cultivating Volunteers through Crowdsourcing - A Connecting to Collections Care webinar originally presented in July 2016 by Meghan Ferriter. Dr. Ferriter shares the crowdsourcing experience of the Smithsonian Transcription Center (TC) and how their experience can be adapted to other projects.
- Crowdsourcing Cultural Heritage: 'Citizen Archivists' for the future - A 2014 article by Jan Zastrow published in Computers in Libraries (Vol. 34, No. 8, October 2014).
- Examples of Crowdsourcing volunteer projects:
- Business students raise funds for Haiti, learn value of 'blitz project' - A short 2010 article describing a blitz project by Oregon State University College of Business students.
- Yellowstone National Park Blitz projects
- Using a Team Approach to Expose Yellowstone's Hidden Collections (July 10, 2014), by Anne Foster
- Bringing Yellowstone Back Home: Using the Archives Blitz as a Framework for Other Institutions (October 7, 2014), by Anna Trammell
- Keys to a Blissful Blitz (March 12, 2015), by Kiley Hayes
- Human Resources Recorded Webinars - A series of webinars from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) on a variety of topics related to staff and volunteers.
- American Association for Museum Volunteers (AAMV) - An association supporting the museum volunteer management community. Their website includes some resources freely available to non-members.
- Volunteer Page for the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History - Provides an example of a well-designed volunteer page including a link to the Yale Peabody volunteer application.
- Volunteer Code of Ethics and Professional Standards - A standard from the Alexandria Museum of Art that can be used as a model for other institutions.
- Involving the Public in Your Preservation Efforts - A Connecting to Collections Care webinar from 2013 showcasing work from a number of institutions in celebration of Preservation Week. The page contains links to referenced projects and resources.
- Best Practices for Volunteers in Archives - A downloadable resource by the Society of American Archivists (SAA).
- Building a successful museum volunteer services program - A technical bulletin by Robbin Davis produced by the Oklahoma Museums Association (July 2007).
- Taproot+ - A connection service claiming to be "the best way for nonprofits to find pro bono help and for skilled volunteers to provide it."
- How to Celebrate Project Success with a Distributed Team - A resource compiled with input from a Virtual Facilitators Forum on LinkedIn to help build teams even when members are dispersed.
- How to Celebrate Success Throughout Your Projects - A 2008 blog post from Making Things Happen on developing an environment of ongoing celebration of success.
Ethics of Hiring
- SHRM Code of Ethical and Professional Standards in Human Resource Management - From the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), guidelines for ethical Human Resources management. Includes a comprehensive guide for developing your own organizational Code of Ethics.
- Why the Path to Good Ethics Starts in Human Resources - A 2013 blog post from Chris MacDonald on Company Culture.
- Guidelines for Academic Requestors - Guidelines specifically related to the ethical hiring of Turkers through Amazon Mechanical Turk for outsourced academic projects but could be applied more broadly.
Collection access: Describing, cataloging, and processing with the future in mind
The resources available in this section try to provide guidance on the sometimes complicated world of description and processing. We understand that while GLAM organizations have many things in common, processing is often handled differently depending on the field. As we learn to work together, we hope that exploring best practices from different areas will help us move towards greater interoperability in the future.
Additional information on the February 1, 2017 webinar can be found here.
Links to the webinar recording, slides, and a transcript will be posted here when available.
- AutoCat - A general cataloging listserv, primarily for libraries but open to everyone.
- OCLCCAT - An OCLC sponsored cataloging listserv open to everyone.
- Metadata Support Group - A Slack forum sponsored by the Digital Library Federation (DLF). Requires registration and a Slack account but not membership in DLF.
- SAA Lone Arrangers listserv - Hosted by the Society of American Archivists (SAA) and open to members and non-members.
- AASLH Nomenclature Community - A space for those using or interested in using the Nomenclature 4.0 resource from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH).
- Connecting to Collections Care Forum - A space to ask questions about collections care and receive answers from peers and forum monitors. Requires registration for participation.
- Metadata for All: Descriptive Standards and Metadata Sharing Across Libraries, Archives, and Museums - An article from First Monday, a peer reviewed journal on the internet, by Mary W. Elings and Gunter Waibel (Vol. 12, No. 3, 5 March 2007).
- Linked Data for Libraries, Archives, and Museums - A book and website on getting the most from your metadata.
- Archival Management Software: A Report for the Council on Library and Information Resources - A pdf 2009 report for the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) by Lisa Spiro
- AASLH Audio Recording: Building Digital Archives: Lessons Learned From Four Crowdsourced Online Projects - An audio download of the session from the 2014 Annual Meeting of the AASLH.
- Gallery Systems Free Collections Management Resources - A collection of free collections management resources compiled by GallerySystems.
- Collections Access and the use of technology in museums - A report by the Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service, 2012.
- Collections Trust: Benchmarks in Collections Care - Self-Assessment checklist developed by Collections Trust to encourage thinking about collection care activity during the organizations planning cycle.
- Connecting to Collections Care Resources - An extensive collection of resources arranged by topic.
SEE ALSO Ethics and Social Justice
- American Alliance of Museums (AAM) Code of Ethics for Museums
- American Library Association (ALA) Professional Ethics
- Society of American Archivists (SAA) Core Values Statement and Code of Ethics
- ALA-SAA Joint Statement on Access: Guidelines for Access to Original Research Materials
- Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) Code of Ethics and Professional Practices
Cataloging and Metadata Standards
The resources listed below may require registration or subscription for access. While some are freely available online, others are fee-based.
- Standards at the Library of Congress - A listing of all of the standards maintained by the Library of Congress
- Metadata Standards Crosswalk - A useful online spreadsheet from Getty that shows how a selection of well-used metadata standards may interact with each other.
- RDA: Resource Description and Access - Cataloging standard that replaced AACR2 and RDA is based on the FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) and FRAD (Functional Requirements for Authority Data) concept models
- AACR2: Anglo-American Cataloging Rules - Standards to build catalogs in general libraries of all sizes. No longer being updated. Replaced by RDA. Still valid and used by some smaller organizations.
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS), Second Edition - An output-neutral set of rules for describing archives, personal papers, and manuscript collections that can be used with any encoding standard including MARC21, EAD, and EAC.
- Standards for Archival Description: A Handbook - 1994 Handbook of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) describing technical standards, conventions, and guidelines used by archivists to describe holdings and repositories.
- SNAC: Social Networks and Archival Context - A cooperative in development to create a more collaborative environment for discovering records related to historical persons.
- PREMIS: Preservation Metadata: Implementation Strategies - A data dictionary developed as the international standard for metadata to support the preservation of digital objects and ensure their long-term usability.
- PBCORE: Public Broadcasting Metadata Dictionary Project - An XML metadata schema designed for sound and moving images that is both a content and data standard.
- The Small Museums Cataguing Manual: A guide to cataloguing object and image collections - 4th edition of the guide (2009) published by Museums Australia (Victoria)
- NPS Museum Handbook, Part II: Museum Records - A publication of the National Parks Service, downloadable as a pdf file.
- The FIAF Moving Image Cataloguing Manual - Published by the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) Cataloguing and Documentation Commission. Available for free as a pdf download
- Cataloging Cultural Objects: A Guide to Describing Cultural Works and Their Images - A data content standard for the cultural heritage community sponsored by the Visual Resources Association Foundation (VRAF)
- MARC21 - Encoding standards to make bibliographic and related information machine-readable
- BIBFRAME: Bibliographic Framework Initiative - A new bibliographic encoding standard being developed by the Library of Congress to replace MARC21. The new model is designed to express and link bibliographic data.
- EAC-CPF: Encoded Archival Context - Corporate bodies, Persons, and Families - Extensible Markup Language (XML) Standard for encoding contextual information about persons, corporate bodies, and families. Maintained by the Society of American Archivists (SAA) in partnership with the Berlin State Library.
- EAD: Encoded Archival Description - Standard for encoding Finding Aids for interoperability in an online environment.
- DCMI: Dublin Core Metadata Initiative - A set of metadata vocabulary to use with the Resource Description Framework (RDF) and other Linked Data initiatives that follows Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH).
- MODS: Metadata Object Description Schema - An XML schema for a bibliographic element set that may be used for a vaiety of purposes, and particularly for library applications. Maintained by the Library of Congress.
- IIIF: International Image Interoperability Framework - An image encoding standard to unlock standard information on the web
- RDF: Resource Description Framework - A framework to describe any internet resource developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
- W3C Semantic Web RDF page
- RDF section on Ontologies and Semantic Web Tutorial
- Introducing Linked Data and the Semantic Web - Introducing RDF is section 2
- VRA Core - a data standard for the description of works of visual culture as well as the images that document them.
Data Management Tools
- CPOTR: Community Owned Digital Preservation Tool Registry
- CWIS: Collection Workflow Integration System
- Data Wrangler
- Library of Congress Bagger
- Open Refine
- Oxygen: XML Editor
Collection Management Systems
The below systems are not an endorsement of the product by CLIR, just suggestions to highlight the range of systems available. This is not a comprehensive list of all systems available. We tried to include low cost and/or open source system options when possible.
How to choose
- Selecting a Cloud-Based Museum Collections Management System - Five area to consider when selecting a system from History Associates, Inc.
- How Do We Select a Collections Management System? - An article from History Associates, Inc. on the process of system selection from contacting a vendor to data migration.
- Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Museum Collections Management System - A downloadable report from History Associates, Inc. to highlight the most common mistakes they've seen when selecting a CMS. Can be applied to all GLAM organizations.
- How to Choose the Right ILS for Your Library - Chapter in The Small Library Manager's Handbook (book).
- Choosing the Right CMS - A downloadable guide from GallerySystems that provides 5 steps for the selection process as well as sample worksheets, checklists, and links to additional resources.
- General recommendations for smaller institutions - From the Church & Synagogue Library Association
- Axiell Group
- CONTENTdm - For digital objects
- Archivists’ Toolkit- Available for download, but no longer being updated
- Axiell Group
- Collective Access
- CONTENTdm - For digital objects
- MS Access Finding Aid Creator - offered by Bok Tower Gardens
- Axiell Group
- Collective Access
- Collector Systems
- Mukurtu - Designed with indigenous communities in mind
- The Museum System (TMS)
- Mirador - For collections that support the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) API
Controlled Vocabularies and Thesauri
- The Getty Research Institute Vocabularies
- AASLH Nomenclature Committee
- Photographic Process Controlled Vocabulary
- Library of Congress Authorities
- LC Linked Data Service: Authorities and Vocabularies
- American Institute for Conservation Lexicon Terms
- International Code of Botanical Nomenclature
- Parks Canada Descriptive and Visual Dictionary of Objects
Tutorials and Online Learning
There are many options for online learning. The following list is a sampling of free or low cost options to enhance understanding of cataloging and processing techniques.
- Association for Library Collection & Technical Services (ALCTS) YouTube Channel, Cataloging topic
- Caring for Digital Materials: Preventing a Digital Dark Age - A Connecting to Collections Care Webinar Series
- OCLC Tutorials
- OCLC Cataloging Skills Training Calendar - Includes some fee based training
- OCLC documentation, practices, and programs
- Basic Cataloging Resources from CARLI (Consortium of Academic Research Libraries in Illinois)
- Cataloging Course - A YouTube introduction to cataloging by LibTec203]
- 20+ Awesome Free Online Librarian Courses
- WebJunction Integrated Library Systems & Databases Topic
- FRBR and TMS: Applying a Conceptual Organizational Model for Cataloguing Photographic Archives
- SLC Cheat Sheets - A collection of cataloging cheat sheets for a wide range of material types mostly developed by Mac Elrod and hosted by Special Libraries Cataloging (SLC).
- DPLA Curriculum for Digitization - A self-guided, online learning experience developed by the Digital Public Library of America. The curriculum is intended for digitization beginners from a variety of cultural heritage institutions.
Overcoming project hurdles: Approaches to identifying and managing collection red flags
The resources included in this section are presented to help organizations deal with areas in collections that may present problems and give managers the confidence to move forward with processing.
Additional information on the February 8, 2017 webinar can be found here.
Links to the webinar recording, slides, and a transcript will be posted here when available.
Creating Policies for Collection Building
- SAA A Guide to Deeds of Gift
- AASLH StEPS Resource: Sample Deed of Gift
- Florida Connecting to Collections 2013 Collections Management & Development Policies - A self-paced program for all GLAM institution types hosted by the Florida Association of Museums (FAM)
- AAM Reference Guide: Developing a Collections Management Policy
- American Alliance of Museums (AAM) Standards Regarding Collections Stewardship
- Creating a Collection Development Policy for Local Historical Records in Public Libraries - A pdf resource from the Wisconsin Historical Records Advisory Board and the Wisconsin Association of Public Librarians (April 1998).
- Support Documents for Community Decision Making - A collection of documents provided by the Sustainable Heritage Network that help organizations makes decisions regarding access, circulation, and ownership of cultural materials.
Rights, Copyright, and Legal Dilemmas
Resources included are for reference only and do not represent legal advice. Most apply only to U.S. law; other countries may have different rules and guidelines.
- Digital Public Library (DPL) Rights Statements
- Oral History Interviews: “Who Owns Oral History? A Creative Commons Solution,"
- Major Legal Challenges Facing Oral History In The Digital Age - A detailed 2014 article by John Neuenschwander on the IMLS Oral History in the Digital Age blog. Includes references.
- The Deaccessioning Dilemma: Laws, Ethics, and Actions - A 2015 Connecting to Collections Care webinar presented by John E. Simmons.
- Deaccessioning: The Devil’s in the Details - A webinar in the AASLH StEPs program (fee)
- SAA Guidelines for Reappraisal and Deaccessioning - A pdf document from the Society of American Archivists (SAA)
- The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries - Can be used as a model to develop institutional policies regarding fair use and online access.
- Cornell’s Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the US - An easy to use chart to reference when particular types of items move into the public domain. Updated annually.
- Copyright & Fair Use Resources from Stanford University Libraries - A number of charts and tools discussing copyright, fair use, and best practices.
- Connecting to Collections Care Resources - Select "Legal Issues" from the list for an extensive list of related resources.
- SAA’s Copyright and Unpublished Material: An introduction for Users of Archives and Manuscript Collections - A downloadable and printable resource that answers basic questions.
- Found! Abandoned Property in the Museum - A New England Museums Now 2016 reprint of a 2013 article from NEMA News on Legal Issues. Authored by Gilbert Whittemore and covers ten clear steps for dealing with undocumented items in collections.
- SAA Abandoned Property Project - A state-by-state listing of relevant abandoned property legislation compiled by the Society of American Archivists (SAA) and updated as required.
- ACRL/RBMS Guidelines Regarding Security and Theft in Special Collections - Guidelines developed by the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) and its Rare Books and Manuscript Section (RBMS).
- Research Library Issues (RLI) Special Issue on Special Collections and Archives in the Digital Age - This June 2012 issue of RLI, published by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), includes articles on legal matters associated with digitization, Deeds of Gifts, and copyright.
- Local Contexts - An initiative to support Native, First Nations, Aboriginal, and Indigenous communities in the management of their intellectual property within the digital environment by providing strategic resources and practical solutions.
Ethics and Social Justice
SEE ALSO Institutional Ethics
- Code of Ethics and Other Institutional Documents - A 2013 educational module, including a webinar, from the Florida Connecting to Collections Series presented from the museum (Myriam Springuel) and library (Burt Altman) perspectives.
- From Human Rights to Feminist Ethics: Radical Empathy in the Archives - A 2016 article by Michelle Caswell and Marika Cifor. Published in Archivaria, a journal of the Association of Canadian Archivists (ACA). Link is to abstract only.
- Social Media Archives Toolkit: Legal and Ethical Implications - A resource of the North Carolina State University Libraries providing insight into the legal and ethical issues of harvesting social media.
- OKCupid data release fiasco: It's time to rethink ethics education - A 2016 post by Annette Markham that addresses data releases from an ethics educator's perspective.
- Beyond the hashtags: #Ferguson, #Blacklivesmatter, and the online struggle for offline justice - A 2016 downloadable report written by Deen Feelon, Charlton D. McIlwain, and Meredith D. Clark that analyzes the Black Lives Matter movement online and the implications for using online tools to encourage social and political change.
- Surveillance and Social Media Archiving - A transcript of remarks made by Bergis Jules during the 2016 Library of Congress symposium, Collections as Data: Stewardship and Use Models to Enhance Access. Includes link to slides and the symposium's full agenda.
- Where are Human Subjects in Big Data Research? The Emerging Ethics Divide - A 2016 article by Jacob Metcalf and Kate Crawford published in Big Data and Society (Spring 2016).
- The Right to be Forgotten of the Duty to be Remembered? Twitter data reuse and implications for user privacy - A 2016 PDF case study by Helena Ursic (Leiden University) written for The Council for Big Data, Ethics, and Society.
- Toward a survivor-centered approach to records documenting human rights abuse: lessons from community archives - Link to abstract (full article available for purchase). A 2014 article by Michelle Caswell published in Archival Science.
- Opening up the Margins - A November 18, 2016 blog post by April Hathcock that combines her remarks at a number of venues about opening up "good scholarship" to marginalized communities.
- Zine Librarians Code of Ethics - A downloadable (PDF or Word) version of an ethical code as it applies to librarians and archivists that handle zines.
- #ArchivesForBlackLives: Building a Community Archives of Police Violence in Cleveland - The text of a 2016 talk by Jarrett M. Drake presented at the Digital Blackness conference on the panel Uploading Black History: Archiving Blacks' Lived Experiences.
- digitization: just because you can, doesn't mean you should - A 2016 blog post by Tara Robertson that reflects on the ethics of digitization through the example of a pre-internet lesbian porn magazine that was recently digitized and placed on line.
- Evidence, memory, identify, and community: four shifting archival paradigms - Link to abstract (full article available for purchase). A 2013 article by Terry Cook published in Archival Science.
- Archives Conservators Discussion Group 2005: Hazardous Holdings - A pdf article by Linda Blaser and Susan Peckham summarizing the panel. Printed in The Book and Paper Group Annual 24 (2005), p. 73-83.
- Mercury in Museum Collections - PDF version of the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) Notes 1/7, 2002. Also available online here.
- Lead in Museusm Collections and Heritage Buildings - PDF version of the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) Notes 1/8, 2010. Also available online here.
- Arsenic and Old Lace: Controlling Hazardous Collection Materials - A 2016 Connecting to Collections Care Webinar. Page includes links to slides and handouts.
- Hazards in museum collections: A Collections Care How To Guide - A pdf guide from SHARE Museums East, Norfolk Museums & Archeology Service, and CollectionsTrust.
- What’s That White Stuff blog - A blog sponsored by the Alaska State Museum offering advice about common issues in museums.
- Library of Congress Care, Handling, and Storage of Motion Picture Film - Resources and links from the Library of Congress.
- Museums Australia Vicotoria INSITE, September - October 2012, Dangerous Collections Special Issue - Includes articles on a variety of tough issues
- Pesticide Mitigation in Museum Collections: Science in Conservation: Proceedings from the MCI Workshop Series - 2010 publication from the Smithsonian Contributions to Museum Conservation series that addresses the issue of pesticide removal from museum objects.
- Statement on Potential Hazards (Inherent and Acquired) Associated with Collection Objects - A 2010 policy statement from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Anthropology that can be used as a model for other institutions.
- Hazardous Materials in Your Collection - National Park Service (NPS) Conserve O Gram series, August 1998, Number 2/10.
- MuseumPests.net - A product of the Integrated Pest Management Working Group and includes a number of resources for prevention, monitoring, identification, and solutions for pests in collection spaces.
Culturally Sensitive and Tough Topic Collections
- Protocols for Native American Archival Materials - The Protocols were developed to provide best practices for culturally responsive care and use of Native American archival and documentary material held by non-tribal organizations. The document reflects a Native American perspective.
- Identifying Culturally Sensitive American Indian Material in a Non-tribal Institution - This is a good, brief, article regarding culturally sensitive Native American images in a non-native institution. It very clearly lays out a respectful, real world application of balancing maximum access and respectful consultation.
- American Indian Library Association Resources - A listing of resources compiled by the American Indian Library Association
- Canadian Conservation Institute Caring for Sacred and Culturally Sensitive Objects - Guidelines developed in 2015 to present key considerations related to sacred and culturally sensitive objects in heritage collections.
- Tribal Archives, Traditional Knowledge, and Local Contexts: Why the "s" Matters - A 2015 article by Kimberly Christen in the Journal of Western Archives (JWA Vol. 6, Iss. 1, Article 3).
- Confronting Our Failure of Care Around the Legacies of Marginalized People in the Archives - Transcript and select slides from a 2016 talk by Bergis Jules presented at the National Digital Stewardship Alliance annual meeting.
- Report: Task force to review Protocols for Native American Archival Materials - A PDF version of the 2008 Society of American Archivists (SAA) report.
- Identifying Culturally Sensitive American Indian Material in a Non-tribal Institution - A 2014 Case Study in Archival Ethics by Ellen Ryan and completed for the Society of American Archivists (SAA).
- Have Conversations Here: Supporting Productive Dialogue in Museums - A 2016 post by Mike Murawski on Art Museum Teaching discussing the facilitation of conversations in museums about difficult events and topics.
- Interpreting Transatlantic Slavery: the role of museums - A 1999 article from the International Slavery Museum by Anthony Tibbles.
- Interpreting Difficult History at Museums and Historic Sites - Book by Julia Rose
- Difficult Issues in History Museums - A 2013 post on the Finding Community blog.
- SAA Case Studies on Diversifying the Archival Record - Case #1: Preservation Workshops with Restricted Resources: Preserving Cham Manuscripts in Vietnam
- Museum Best Practices for Managing Controversy - A pdf document from the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries (AAMG)
Sample Projects and Collections
- Documenting the Now - A collaborative project that aims to respect both the content creator and the potential researcher and seeks to find a user-friendly means of collecting and preserving the digital content of social media.
- South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA) - An independant, national, non-profit organization working to document, preserve, and share stories representing the voices of South Asian Americans.
- Human Rights Documentation Initiative (HRDI) - A long-term preservation effort by the University of Texas Libraries to capture fragile and vulnerable records of human rights struggles worldwide, promote them, and make them accessible for research.
- XFR Collective - A non-profit organization partnering with many to preserve at-risk audiovisual media by providing low-cost digitization services.
- Moving Image Preservation of Puget Sound (MiPoPs) - A non-profit organization helping to preserve our cultureal heritage by assisting archives, libraries, and other organizations with the conversion of analog video recordings to digital formats according to archival best practices.
- The Memory Lab at DC Public Library - A service provided to the DC public that allows for personal preservation of AV materials. A model that other organizations can follow.
Closing the loop: Project assessment and leveraging goals for future planning
The resources included in this section provide additional information for all other topics and help provide support for sustaining and moving projects into the future.
Additional information on the February 15, 2017 webinar can be found here.
Links to the webinar recording, slides, and a transcript will be posted here when available.
During the Project
- Strategies for Learning from Failure - An article by Amy C. Edmondson, a version also available in print, Harvard Business Review April 2011.
- What are the Most Important Factors in a Successful Project? - A brief Vimeo video from Artscape President and CEO Tim Jones on the crucial elements of project success.
- Avoid the Same Old Mistakes by Focusing on Lessons Learned - A 2014 article by Duncan Haughey that covers 6 essential steps to document lessons learned.
- An Online Exhibit: A Tale of Triumph and Tribulation - A 2014 Case Study by Nancy Freeman and Robert B. Riter for the Society of American Archivists (SAA).
- More Product, Less Process: Revamping Traditional Archival Processing - A 2005 article by Mark Greene and Dennis Miller published in The American Archivist, a publication of the Society of American Archivists. Link to abstract, PDF version available for download.
Project Evaluation and Assessment
- Taking Stock: A Practical Guide to Evaluating Your Own Programs - A 1997 guide written by Sally L. Bond, Sally E. Boyd, and Kathleen A. Rapp written to help community-based organisations improve programs.
- W.K. Kellogg Foundation Evaluation Handbook - A 2010 tool to help consider evaluation as a relevant and useful program tool. The handbook was written especially for W.K. Kellogg Foundation-funded programs but has broader application possibilities.
- OERL: Online Evaluation Resource Library - A resource library designed to collect and make available evaluation plans, instruments, and reports for National Science Foundation (NSF) related projects but has broader application possibilities.
- [https://www2.cdc.gov/cdcup/library/practices_guides/CDC_UP_Project_Close-Out_Practices_Guide.pdf CDC Unified Process Practices Guide: Project Close-out - A 2006 guide that can help organizations practice successful project-close out.
- Project Assessment and Evaluation - A list of resources compiled by the Referencce and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).
- Creating an Assessment Plan & Using Assessment Templates - A 2009 guide created by the University of Hawaii at Manoa Assessment Office.
- Measures of Project Management Performance and Value: A Benchmark of Current Business Practices - A 2005 resource from the Center for Business Practices as part of the Comprehensive List of Measures series.
- Environmental Protection: Using Metrics to Track Progress of Community Outreach Programs - A 2004 guide published by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers to help develop metrics for understanding how well organizations are implementing programs as well as how to improve them.
- Project Execution - PM Elements: Tracking and Monitoring Project Performance - A January 1997 PDF document from the California Chief Information Offices that offers practical solutions for project tracking that can be adapted to other organizations' needs. A part of the Statewide Information Management Manual (SIMM)
- Shared Services: Tracking Performance/Performance Metrics - What Doesn’t Get Measured Doesn’t Get Done - A 2011 blog post by Jennifer Lotkowski and Adam Jelic on the IBM Center for The Business of Government.
Future Project Planning
- Engaging the Grown-Ups: A Roundtable Exploring New Strategies - An AASLH Audio Recording
- Who’s Next? Succession Planning and Institutional Health - An AASLH Audio Recording
Developing and Evaluating Institutional Documentation
- Plan for the future you want for you museum - A Technical Bulletin of the Oklahoma Museums Association, July 2009 by Cecil Carter
- Florida Connecting to Collections 2013 Collections Management & Development Policies - A self-paced program for all GLAM institution types.
- Florida Connecting to Collections Emergency Plans - A self-paced program for all GLAM Institution types
- AAM Description of Core Documents - A listing of important documents suggested by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) as fundamental for basic professional museum operations.
- The 2002 User-friendly Handbook for Project Evaluation - A 2002 resource guide in HTML or PDF from the National Science Foundation (NSF)
- Five Project Management Metrics key to Successful Project Execution - Operational Excellence - A 2013 post by Kavita Verma shared on OBOlinx Tech. Includes equations and practical examples.