SPEC Kit 307: Manuscript Collections on the Web · 97
Benefits of Online Manuscript Collections
28. Please describe up to three beneﬁts of migrating manuscript collections to the Web. N=61
Beneﬁt 1 Beneﬁt 2 Beneﬁt 3
Access. Access. Access.
Access by the public. Easy to refer patrons to relevant ﬁnding
Patrons requesting boxes in advance,
prior to visit.
Access to collection descriptions by
Ability to search across ﬁnding aids
either in an institution-speciﬁc site or a
larger database such as ArchiveGrid.
Saves researchers time when they arrive
at the repository if they have access to
the ﬁnding aid beforehand.
Access to collections for users is greatly
Great for promoting collections. Great for improving reference services.
Access to ﬁndings aid on Web. Standardization of descriptions. Focus on reducing backlog.
Accessibility. Searchability. Usability.
Affords another path to accessibility. Makes collection more searchable. Peer institutions are doing it and
patrons are more likely to expect this
form of access.
Better access for researchers: As a
policy, we do not photocopy paper
ﬁnding aids for researchers. Having
ﬁnding aids online helps them better
plan their research trips and saves us
from answering a lot of questions.
Standardization of archival description
with EAD: New ﬁnding aids are being
Dissemination of holdings to a wider
audience: Collections previously hidden
or discovered only by word of mouth
through contact with staff or other
researchers are now available for all to
Better access for researchers to our
Advertisement of our holdings creating
a wider audience and more users.
Usage data to justify additional staff, to
provide better stewardship to collection
donors, to drive collection acquisition
Better access worldwide. Ease of data storage. Ease of updating and adding to ﬁnding
Collection visibility is the key beneﬁt
from migrating collection descriptions
to the Web. From this beneﬁt many
others are derived, including making
collections and speciﬁc items known to
potential researchers, cross-collection
searching, public relations, collection
development, and many others.