Processing Archival Collections

The purpose of this manual is to assist those who process paper, analog, and digital collections at the Bentley Historical Library (BHL) by answering common questions, offering consistent advice, and standardizing several practices within the Processing environment.  It has been written for an audience that already has a basic knowledge of archival practice and terminology, such as can be gained through enrolling in an introductory course in archival administration.  Although it may be useful to others, it is not intended as an introductory work for those who have no previous experience in archives.  For definitions of archival terms used in this Manual, see the Society of American Archivists' Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology.

This manual is a living document.  Its publication does not represent the establishment of a series of rules and regulations but rather the current thinking of the Bentley Library’s staff on a variety of issues.  Over time that thinking will change and it is hoped that the users of this manual will actively participate in the ongoing process of revising and improving it.

Staff members who are engaged with processing paper, analog, and digital collections are expected to read and familiarize themselves with this manual.  Questions, comments, and suggestions should be directed to Olga Virakhovskaya, Lead Archivist for Collections Management.