Processing Physical Collections at a Distance: Exploring the Future of Archival Internships and Practicums in a (Mostly) Remote Environment
While remote work and distance learning became less taboo and more of the norm in 2020, many archives supervisors, teachers, and students found themselves swiftly adjusting projects and workflows to continue collections work. However, with physical collections remaining on site, the prospect of how to maintain progress on these non-digitized collections presents an opportunity for exploration; not only a creative solution that promotes safe social-distancing needed in the current time, but also furnishes opportunities for archives students to obtain diverse experience and professional training while working remotely.This poster presentation will explore the ways in which physical, non-digitized collections, could be processed in a remote work, or staggered work schedule environment. I will address the added benefit and importance of investigating this opportunity, as it encourages and supports collaborative partnerships between MLS, MSLS, and MLIS degree-offering institutions with organizations that may have been previously disregarded, due to being more rural or unavailable for a variety of reasons. I will also share possible technologies to support such a program, such as Trello, which assists with streamlining workflows while working remotely. My exploratory idea suggests that by first extracting the intellectual information from carefully selected, non-digitized collections, it is possible that a student physically handles the materials only once or twice a month for physical arrangement and rehousing. Otherwise, a student works remotely to develop the processing plan, inventory, intellectually arrange, label new folders and boxes, and create finding aids—while keeping themselves and the archival materials safe.
How to Cite:
Watts, A., (2021) “Processing Physical Collections at a Distance: Exploring the Future of Archival Internships and Practicums in a (Mostly) Remote Environment”, MAC Annual Meeting Presentations 2021(1).