Archive with confidence: 5 steps to achieve archive re-organisation excellence
Today we welcome guest blogger Sarah Bromage, Archivist for the Scottish Political Archive, University of Stirling.
Sarah has managed the Scottish Political Archive (SPA) for 8 years now. In 2014 Sarah and the SPA team took on the huge task of integrating The Jack McConnell Collection into the SPA archive.
No stranger to organisation, and always looking for new ways to improve archiving notation, Sarah embraced onits when she found that their magnetic properties stuck so well to the metal archive shelving.
We asked Sarah to give us an insight into the world of archiving.
How onits helped me with archive reorganisation
“onits were really helpful in the reorganisation of my archives store recently. I had to move sections of my archive from one archive store to another. I was working with a small team of porters and volunteers and wanted to be certain that the boxes would be placed in the right section of the store even if I wasn’t there when they arrived. I placed the onits on the shelves of the rolling racking to indicate where individual subject boxes should go in advance of the move and the volunteers removed them when they had unloaded the requisite number of boxes.
It was really helpful for my volunteers to know where the boxes should go and the ability for them to stick on the shelves in visible places was brilliant. The different colours meant that we could use a different colour for each collection which made the shelves easy to search. I would definitely use them again in any archive move.”
Sarah’s top 5 tips to archive organisation:
- Clear labelling. Always list your catalogue numbers clearly on your archive box
- Make a list of items to be moved
- Note when items are moved and list new locations
- Take a photograph of shelving once items moved so that you can check this if needed back in the office
- Make the location changes on your catalogue as soon as possible, whilst the move is fresh in your memory
How would you use onits to organise your archive? Have you had any archive disasters that could have benefited from better organisation or does your archive run like clockwork?
We’d love to hear your archive organisation stories.
Leave your comments below.