"2009 Funded Projects
The following fourteen projects were selected from among 91 full proposals submitted in 2009. Award recipients will create web-accessible records according to standards that will enable the federation of their local cataloging entries into larger groups of related records, enabling the broadest possible exposure to the scholarly community."
From the press release:
"Washington DC-The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has published Processing Decisions for Manuscripts & Archives, SPEC Kit 314, which examines the current policies and practices for processing manuscript and archival collections in Special Collections. This SPEC Kit is organized around four general areas: personnel, job responsibilities, and training; processing policies, procedures, and priorities; impacts on processing decisions; and management tools.
The survey responses speak to the classic issues of the management of processing: how to process collections efficiently but yet adequately so that collections are usable with minimal meditation; how to balance demands for more description and item-level cataloging (digitization) with initiatives to make more collections available ("more product, less processing"); and how to manage staff effectively and to assess processing progress."
Adapting the method used by many libraries in the acquisitions workflow to export OCLC WorldCat bibliographic records into the local online catalog, the Special Collections Department at the University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries developed a process employing a graduate student to provide access to two previously hidden special collections until the materials can be fully cataloged. The completion of the project undertaken by the student assistant resulted in the simultaneous benefits of increased efficiency among the catalogers and greater provision of access to enable users to identify important resources for their research and study. By initiating similar procedures to represent not-yet-cataloged materials with online in-process records, other libraries can move their hidden collections into the view of their users.
This is the famous Greene-Meissner article:
A call to archivists to stop being perfectionists in processing collections, and just get more done.
From p. 2 "How, then, do we break these chains of unhelpful practice that holds us to inadequate productivity? We need to articulate a new set of arrangement, preservation and description guidelines the (1) expedites getting collection materials into the hands of users, (2) that assures arrangement of materials /adequate/ to user needs, (3) that takes the /minimal/ steps necessary to physically preserve the collection materials, and (4) that describes materials /sufficient/ to promote use. In other words, it is time that we focused on what we absolutely need to do instead of on all the things that we might do in a world of unbounded resources."
Collections Define Cataloging's Future
B Simpson - The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 2007 - Elsevier
Mostly a review of the literature, but also a call to change the focus of catalogers to work on special collections.
Hidden collections: the elephant in the closet
C Mandel - Exposing Hidden Collections, September, 2003 - ala.org
Nice introduction to the issues by Carol Mandel. From her presentation at the Sept. 2003 conference