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VCU James Branch Cabell Library underwent a major renovation and expansion from 2014 to 2016, necessitating a move of all special collections and archives materials. After the move we surveyed our collections to help us regain intellectual and physical control. In addition, the survey allowed us to assess whether collections were in need of additional processing or reprocessing to make them more accessible physically and intellectually, identify special formats, and address conservation issues.
To conduct the survey, we created a form and used this in conjunction with the assessment tool in Archivists’ Toolkit. The form included checklists to note information such as material formats other than paper, specific condition and preservation issues, as well as a general notes field. For brevity and consistency, we created a list of abbreviations to use. Collections were ranked using an agreed upon set of criteria in multiple categories. The rankings have helped determine which collections are in most need of attention.
During the course of the survey we discovered that not all collections were processed equally, meaning that they didn’t always conform to best practices and standards. This poster will expand upon what we learned and what we’re doing with the information we obtained.
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VCU Libraries Faculty and Staff Presentations