Guest Post by Archives Student Worker Cortney
As a student worker in the Minnesota State University, Mankato Archives there have been many projects and tasks we have done. One of the recent projects that was one of my personal favorites was the Collection Guide scanning and ArchivesSpace data entry.
The collection guide scanning process is the first step. We were each given certain collection guides from both the Minnesota State Archives and the Southern Minnesota Historical Center. The process begins with adding footers on the documents which state the current date and the page numbers. Once you have inserted those footers, you print off the documents (we chose to print more than one collection guide so we could do more at a time). After printing off the guides on the second floor, the next step was to scan which takes place on the third floor. The scanner we use are single sheet scanners, where we place the papers face down and upside down, so they scan right side up. When scanning we complete the batch and give it the proper title (the title of the collection guide). Once the files are created, we ingest the files into ARCH which is where all the digital collections for MSU and the Southern Minnesota Historical Center are located. While ingesting you are creating a page in ARCH which gives the title of the collection, date of creation and date ingested, and finding aids. Once ingested and stapled, we take the papers downstairs to where the hard copies are and replace the old hard copies.
After the collection guide scanning process is complete, we can start the second process which is the ArchivesSpace data entry. With the files ingested and the hard copies replaced we can update the ArchivesSpace data. This process takes a little longer then the scanning and does a more in-depth examination of the collection guides. We start off by opening the resource record type. This is where all the data is going to be uploaded. We oversee updating the basic information, dates, finding aid information, revision statements, notes, and external documents. The basic information is just the title, identifier (MSU collection/SMHC Manuscript collection), level of description (collection), resource type (papers, collection, records, publications), language, and if there are any restrictions. The dates cover the label (creation/publication), expression, and types (inclusive/single). Finding aid information talks about what the identifier is again, the title of the document, the date it was processed, who processed it, the description rule (describing archives: a content standard), language, and the status of the finding aid. Revision statements are if there were any additions to the collection or finding aid. Notes are the bulk of the collection which includes the abstract, biographical/historical notes, scope and contents, and the preferred citation. External documents include the two places you can find the information which is to the page on ARCH and the link to the page on the MSU website. After inserting the information, we save the resource and double check on the public interface of Archives Space that all the information is there and in the right places. This process uses a lot of copying and pasting from on document to the resource.
I enjoyed doing this project because it let me be in both archives' spaces in the library. It also let me get out of the chair for the little while when walking up or down the stairs. I also got to know more about the websites that I can find information on and helped me understand how to navigate the Archives sites a little better.