Beyond Boxes: Managing Containers and Spaces in ArchivesSpace

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With a three-year, $95 million library renovation and expansion set to begin in May 2023 requiring a complete collections move in April 2023, James Madison University Special Collections embarked on a year-long project to establish greater intellectual and physical control of its processed collections as well as unprocessed backlog. Using ArchivesSpace’s container and location management modules, a graduate assistant in consultation with Special Collections staff assigned barcodes to more than 1,800 Top Containers, created and assigned more than 60 Container Profiles, merged Top Containers for boxed-with collections, remediated past local practice of “Locations as Top Containers,” and strategically created and assigned Location Profiles. In addition to the ArchivesSpace work, this project and impending renovation provided staff the space (and incentive) to finally deal with those pesky accessions, legacy collections, and orphaned materials that every repository has in its custody. As a result, staff selectively reappraised accessions; deaccessioned 97 cubic feet of duplicative and non-archival materials comprising trophies and awards, tchotchkes, newspaper clippings, and out of scope records; rehoused unprocessed accessions; and began moving towards an accessioning as processing approach to new acquisitions.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.