Archival Revitalization: Transforming Technical Services with Innovative Workflows

Authors: , , , , ,


Technical services work is at the core of archives. Without these fundamentals, collections do not enter the archives and receive intellectual control (accessioning), are not arranged, described, and made accessible (processing), nor is applicable information about the collections retained for tracking purposes (collection management). In short, technical services processes enable collections to be discovered, accessed, and researched by our users, as well as promoted through outreach initiatives. However, these procedures and workflows do not remain static, and are constantly evolving, leading to archival revitalization.

Presenters will discuss the innovative workflows and procedures they implemented, describing how these new processes transformed their archives. Examples include Wayne State University Reuther Library’s budget-conscious addition of ArchivesSpace and Archivematica to its collections management, accessioning, and processing workflows and procedures; the effects of extensible processing on the Benson Ford Research Center’s collections, including associated outreach initiatives; Purdue Archives creation of a Campus-Archives Interactions Database, enhancing the sense of community between campus stakeholders and archives staff; the Ohio State University’s archival technical services departments transition to the allied IT professions methodology of Agile; the creation of Northwestern University’s Archival Processing unit and its innovative integration with other Distinctive Collections units; and the creation of innovative records assessment practices and accessioning workflows at the University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library. These examples of real world technical services workflows and procedures will provide audience members, both practitioners and managers, the background and details necessary to enable them to revitalize their own archives.


How to Cite: Harmeyer, A. , Orchard, A. A. , Joseph, B. , Putirskis, C. , Unger, J. & Virakhovskaya, O. (2019) “Archival Revitalization: Transforming Technical Services with Innovative Workflows”, MAC Annual Meeting Presentations. 2019(1).