60 · Survey Results: Survey Questions and Responses
Has your library begun, at any level, to adopt this approach? N=66
Yes 49 74%
No 17 26%
If yes, please describe your level of processing.
“Box level.”
“Box level is appropriate for materials that are consistent and are filed either by date or item identification
numbers. Most of the collections filed by identification numbers are agricultural related publications cataloged
in the on-line catalog but stored by their individual identification number which is all that is needed for retrieval.
Some are described by box because of low priority.”
“Box-level or box-folder level when appropriate—primarily for faculty papers.”
“Collection level to the series description, including a general box description.”
“Collections are evaluated by the curator and processing adjusted accordingly. In any one collection, series can be
‘processed’ at different levels (inventory, series, folder).”
“Conceptually only. We have yet to begin implementation.”
“Each collection is treated individually by the subject curator. Some require or merit more detailed description than
“Every collection is represented online by at least a brief collection-level description. Essentially all legacy print
finding aids and card files have been converted to online documents. The quality and completeness of legacy
data is, however, variable, and a substantial part of our current effort is moving toward the creation of digital
objects for which we are providing item-level metadata. So we have dual goals: enhance and refine finding aids
for collections that have only collection-level records; and develop selected databases of digital objects, generally
with item-level metadata.”
“For most new accessions, we arrange and describe to folder level, then describe in a preliminary inventory with
only scope note and folder list.”
“In fact we invented it. See MIT’s 1981 Processing Manual, quoted in Greene Meissner. However, the current
nature of records organization, with its numerous restricted materials (personnel and/or student information)
interspersed, limits the usefulness of what is practical to do.”
“In the University Archives some collections are initially described at series level, and done later at folder level if
time permits.”
“Initially, a brief collection-level record of the collection and assignment of collection number. Secondly, a box
inventory, followed by recording folder headings.”
“It depends on the collection. Most collections will be processed to the folder level while many if not most
photograph collections are processed at the item level. Some small collections are only processed at the collection
level. Decisions are made based upon age, importance, and demand for using the collection.”
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