Tuesday, April 13, 2010

5 Easy Steps

After some thoughtful brainstorming, one of my colleagues in the Russell Library came up with the following steps to moving an archival repository:

Step 1: Identify the items you want to move.

Step 2: Create an inventory of said items.

Step 3: Pack fragile materials to protect against breakage.

Step 4: Barcode all containers and oversize loose objects so you can track/locate them later.

Step 5: Move all containers and objects to the new Special Collections Building.

After these, all that's left is the unpacking and hosting a series of fights to see who gets which cubicle, right? Well, we all wish it was quite that simple. But in truth, each of these small steps can take months to complete depending on the current state of collections. For our next trick, we'll begin addressing each of these proposed steps -- peering further into how they will be accomplished at the Russell Library in the next several blog posts on our move. We've also made the decision to solicit some help with a series of posts called "How Do You Move This?" - presenting some of our most challenging objects that have to make the trip to the new building and asking for thoughtful suggestions on how to accomplish this feat.

If there is anyone out there who can't wait to hear more about archival moves (I know you're out there!), you can check out, Moving Archives: The Experiences of Eleven Archivists. This book is a good resource full of horror stories about archival moves gone wrong, and it provides some good food for thought. Hopefully we won't have to add any negative experiences to the next edition!

Post by Jan Levinson, Assistant Outreach Archivist, Russell Library

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