As some of you may know, I am currently in Library School, with a concentration in Archives and Records Management. My class schedule is structured in 3 different categories - library classes, IT classes, and Archives classes.
Tonight we had a class in the UNC Wilson Library in the Rare Books Room. The guest speaker was an archivist from the Southern Historical Collection. She gave the class a presentation about the Burlington Industries collection that they accessioned back in 2006 into the library. This collection was an example of how a fairly large collection was processed as it was accessioned.
Processing is the act of collecting, preserving, arranging, and describing the materials (MY understanding of it, at least); There is a lot of debate about whether the archivists should keep the materials in their "original order," ie, as they were received - for example, if the person who created and/or donated the materials organized their files in a certain manner, should that file system be preserved as such in order to give the future users a look into the motivations of the creator? - or should those files be reorganized in such a manner as to better serve future users in locating and reviewing materials, and in preservation as well - for example, do you put them in chronological order, or by important person's name; and for preservation sake, do you remove the staples and paper clips and hanging file folders?
At the end of the presentation, she showed us some of the materials - some that that been left in their original order and some that had been reorganized. I noticed a box of photos. It looked as if the photos had been mounted on a folded cardstock in which one piece of the fold had the photograph and the other fold had a sticker on it with a typed description of the photograph. I thought that sounded like a good idea for organizing photos. I would imagine, though, that it would take up a bit more space.
I really need to get back to reading Sally's archiving tips on photographs. But there just seems like there are so many options. I did manage to get all of the photographs out of the magnetic album. I still have tons of photos that I brought home from my Mom's house that are in manilla envelops organized by category.
Back to the Burlington Industries collection. I emailed my professor and asked if they had in fact mounted them on two folded cardstock and she said they had not done anything to them at all. What I saw was what the original owners had done. I guess it's good enough preservation-wise because they kept them that way!