Daily Archives: January 25, 2010

Finding aid fury

Elizabeth Nielsen, Senior Staff Archivist and generally fast & furious finding aid creator, has compiled her “best of” / status report list for the state of the Archives’ world at the end of 2009. It is an impressive thing to read!

Here are a few highlights:

  • 944 total collections in the Archives. This includes 173 record groups (RG); 458 manuscript collections; 244 photo collections; 43 moving image collections; and 15 oral history collections.
  • 464 collections represented in the NWDA finding aids database. More than half of the RGs (61%), MSS (53%), moving images (79%), and oral histories (67%) are reflected in NWDA.
  • 73 preliminary collection-level descriptions. This is an increase of almost 30 since Jan 2009. They will probably continue to grow at this rate (or higher) as we continue to receive large new collections and the number of undescribed collections that are large.
  • 257 collections with no information online (other than perhaps a collection title). This is a reduction from 308 in Jan 2009 and is approaching only a quarter of the total collections. This number includes 8 scrapbooks and photo albums. She is plowing through this at a breakneck pace to work on these and hope to zero-out the scrapbooks/albums category during 2010. The components of our collections that are “least well represented” online are the photograph (51%) and oral history (33%) collections — although both have improved since Jan 2009. She keeps whittling away at these collections by preparing collection-level finding aids (final for small collections and preliminary for larger ones).