Monday, June 21, 2010

And So It Begins

Our barcodes have arrived, along with the barcode scanner and laptop, meaning that we can now make real headway in preparing for the move!

As discussed in the previous posts, we will be utilizing barcodes as a means of retrieving materials from the high density storage area in the new building. Consequently, we have to apply barcode labels to every single container - be it a document case, record storage carton, or map folder. You name it, we’re sticking a barcode on it.

The barcoding project will begin with the Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection since it is our largest (approximately 3,500 boxes) and most complex collection. In order to limit confusion, we decided to work on one series at a time within the Russell Collection. Before applying even a single barcode, we developed a 6 step workflow for the project – the goal being to decrease the
possibility of missing containers.

Step 1: Count the physical boxes and ensure they are in the right order on the shelf.

Step 2: Check the EAD record for the series to ensure that each container is listed.

Step 3: Add the EAD record to Archivists’ Toolkit.

Step 4: Attach the barcodes to the boxes.

Step 5: Scan the barcodes into Archivists’ Toolkit, attaching them to their container record.

Step 6: Create a processing record, documenting what needs to be done to the series before moving (i.e. creating a MARC record or boxing loose material) and a list of student projects that can be completed after the move (i.e. adding the collection name to the folders or photocopying clippings)

As of today we have barcoded 10 series composed of 1181 containers, or the first 2 rows of our storage area. Not a bad start! I’ll keep you posted as the project continues and I make my way deeper and deeper into rows of shelving here at the Russell. Wish me luck.

Post by Kat Stein, Head of Arrangement and Description, Russell Library

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