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Workshop Catalog: Collections Management

The New York State Archives offers the following workshops on Collections Management. Click on the workshop title for more information about the workshop's availability.


Presenter: Clare Flemming, Consulting Archivist. Accessioning is a crucial step in acquiring materials at any collecting institution, as the process by which legal and physical ownership is transferred to the organization. This webinar will address the importance of accessioning, as well as essential components of an accessioning policy, accessioning workflows, and how to handle “found in collection” items.

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AV Collections: Planning a Reformatting Project

Presenter: David Neary, Project Manager, Media Preservation Initiative, Whitney Museum of American Art. Audiovisual materials are abundant in collections - from moving images on film or video, to audiocassettes, CDs and DATs. Despite their constant presence on the shelf, the data they hold is at risk from the threats of degradation and obsolescence. Transferring to more durable formats will help ensure their preservation, but where do you start? Reformatting projects can be overwhelming, and this webinar is intended to help you get started. Topics addressed will include what you need to know before planning a reformatting project, reformatting in-house, and knowing when to seek out a vendor.

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Collection Management Policies 

Presenter: Amelia Parks, Archives Specialist, DHPSNY. Having essential policies and procedures in place is crucial for a properly functioning and thriving collection. This webinar focuses on one of these, the Collection Management Policy (CMP).

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Conducting a Basic Inventory 

Presenter: Kate Philipson, Archives Specialist, DHPSNY. Inventorying collections is one of the most crucial parts of any collections management program. A thorough inventory underpins good intellectual control, emergency preparedness and response, security, and helps to determine preservation priorities. This webinar will discuss the process and principles for carrying out a basic inventory of your archival, library, or museum collections.

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Conducting an Inventory of Paper Records

To have an efficient and functional records management program it is critical for governments to maintain an up-to-date inventory of their records. This webinar introduces participants to the planning, implementation, and analysis of a records inventory for paper records.

The program will discuss:

  • How a records inventory can help you control records
  • How to plan for and carry out a records inventory
  •  Identifying records to inventory
  • Collecting meaningful inventory data
  • Analyzing the results of the inventory
  • How to identify retention periods for records
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Finding Aid Basics: An Introduction to DACS

Presenter: Amelia Parks, Archives Specialist, DHPSNY. This workshop covers the basics of collection-level finding aids and focus on content and formatting as governed by Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS), the descriptive standard for archival materials.

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Know Your Collections: Collections Management 

Presenter: Dyani Feige, Director of Preservation Services, Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts. This presentation covers key collections management topics such as acquisition, appraisal, documentation and deeds of gift, inventory, and deaccessioning. Issues such as “found in the collection” items and abandoned property are also addressed.

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Managing Your Institutional Records

Presenters: David Lowry, Head, Local Government Advisory Services, NYSA; Jennifer O’Neill, Supervisor, Scheduling and State Agency Services, NYSA. Institutional records are crucial for administrative, legal, and operation requirements. A records management program allows institutions to have systematic control over the creation, use, maintenance, and disposition of their records. This webinar will cover the basics of implementing and managing a records management program at a collecting institution, regardless of size.

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Metadata Matters: The Basics

Presenter: Dacia Metes, Digital Archives Manager, Queens Public Library. What is metadata? And why does it matter? This webinar will answer these questions and more! Intended to help those just getting started with metadata, topics covered will include best practices for item- and collection-level metadata, file naming, and systems for capturing metadata. Dublin Core and Encoded Archival Description (EAD) will also be addressed.

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Photographs in the Archive: Arranging and Describing Visual Materials 

Presenter: Amanda Murray, Preservation Specialist, DHPSNY. Visual materials are a ubiquitous part of many collections that pose specific challenges to providing access. This session will discuss important considerations for the successful arrangement and description of visual materials in order to gain intellectual and physical control, improve accessibility, and provide for preservation.

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Policies and Procedures for Deaccessioning

Presenter: Dyani Feige, Director of Preservation Services, Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts. Permanently removing accessioned materials from your holdings can be daunting. However, deaccessioning is an important collections management tool, particularly for institutions that are overcrowded or have accepted every donation that came their way. This webinar will address best practices when it comes to deaccessioning, including policies and suggested workflows.

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The Process of Processing: Creating and Implementing Processing Plans 

Presenter: Kate Philipson, Archives Specialist, DHPSNY. Processing archival collections, which is the work of arranging, describing, and housing materials, can sometimes feel overwhelming. Creating an initial processing plan helps to make these activities more manageable, as it proposes a clear guide to understanding any given collection and the resources that are necessary to make it accessible. This webinar will address the reasons for utilizing processing plans in your workflows, as well as the details of how to write one and implement it effectively.

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