The Mudd Manuscript Library typically adds between 100 and 150 items or collections to its holdings each year. As part of our commitment to publicly providing information about our collections, we will be including a monthly listing of new accessions on our blog. Anyone interested in additional information about the accessions listed below should contact the library through our .
In addition to the monthly listings here, an rss feed on newly cataloged resources at Mudd is available via the Princeton University Library webpage (be sure to select Seeley G. Mudd Library from the “location” drop down menu). We are also, as part of our efforts to revamp our accessioning processes, creating, updating, and posting finding aids on the library’s EAD website within several weeks of the accession’s arrival at the library.
Last Friday, Dan Linke, Don Thornbury, and I gave presentations reporting on recent conferences and workshops that we’ve attended. (See the previous post for Dan Linke’s electronic records presentation.) My presentation is available here.
Rather than give a session by session review of the last few conferences I’ve attended or presented at (the Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting, the Digital Library Federation’s Fall Forum, and the Society of Georgia Archivists Annual Meeting), I decided to discuss some of the more provocative ideas from the OCLC/RLG Services’ report “Shifting Gears: Gearing Up to Get Into the Flow,” which addresses many issues relevant to archives, special collections, and digital libraries, both at Princeton and elsewhere. The report was inspired by the “Digitization Matters” forum held at SAA 2007. (Audio of the forum presentations is also available online.)
Given some of the ongoing discussion we’ve been having at Princeton, one of the most resonant parts of the report for me is the portion related to description, particularly the urging to “take a page from archivists” and “stop obsessing about items.” As archivists, we have experience and expertise in describing large (and small) collections of materials; we should make use of our abilities in this area and not limit ourselves to the item-level, bibliographic cataloging approach that has dominated digital collections, especially since the majority of collections we are digitizing consist of unique and non-published material. Bill Landis’ talk at the Digitization Matters forum discusses this issue in greater detail.
For those interested in more specific information about individual sessions, the SAA 2007 wiki and DLF’s conference website have a number of presentations up and available. And as I mentioned on Friday, anyone who missed Mark Greene’s presidential address at SAA’s closing plenary session should read the text online.
I am pleased to announce the availability of several new EAD finding aids resulting from the Princeton University Archives Processing Project. Processing and finding aids for all three collections were completed by Dan Brennan.
Finding aids for all Mudd library collections (478 finding aids in total) are now available and searchable on the EAD site at http://diglib.princeton.edu/ead . Please contact Dan Santamaria with any questions or comments
Staff at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library at Princeton University have recently completed a project aimed at providing online access to all of the Mudd Library’s collections, both processed and unprocessed.
In addition to a number of ambitious processing projects, in the fall of 2006 the library began a retro-conversion project, resulting in the conversion of all legacy electronic finding aids to Encoded Archival Description. Collection-level MARC cataloging was completed for all collections lacking finding aids, and the MARC records were then converted to EAD, primarily through the use of XSL stylesheets and Terry Reese’s MarcEdit software. With the new EAD finding aids, descriptive records, at at least the collection level, for all of Mudd’s collections are discoverable in the Princeton University Library’s OPAC, the Department of Rare Books and Special Collection’s EAD website, union catalogs and databases such as OCLC’s WorldCat and ArchiveGrid, and via common internet search engines such as Google and Yahoo. As of November 2007, 478 records for Mudd Library collections are available.
Staff will continue to add to the collection-level records through the creation of series, box, or file-level inventories. The Mudd Library is also currently revising accessioning procedures in order to ensure that both collection-level MARC records and EAD finding aids are produced at the time of accessioning. We also plan to increasingly link finding aids to digital surrogates of material in collections and to explore additional ways for users to interact with finding aids and the material that they represent.
For additional information please visit the Princeton University Library’s Department of Rare Books and Special Collections Finding Aids website at: http://diglib.princeton.edu/ead or contact Dan Santamaria, Assistant University Archivist for Technical Services.