How do you plan for your future while examining 125 years of your past?
Over its 125 year history, the Chi Omega Fraternity accumulated a large archival collection that is crucial in telling the Chi Omega story of yesterday and today. To ensure the collection would continue long into the future, Chi Omega worked with History Associates to form a professional partnership to develop a strategic archives action plan.
The Chi Omega Fraternity is one of the largest women’s fraternal organizations in the United States. The Chi Omega Executive Headquarters, located in Memphis, Tennessee, serves as the national office overseeing 181 collegiate chapters and 246 alumnae chapters of Chi Omega. The Headquarters preserves Chi Omega’s rich history of sisterhood and scholarship, which has produced a variety of primary source material and memorabilia. With an upcoming 125th anniversary, Chi Omega reached out to History Associates for support in planning archival initiatives to preserve and access the collection for many years to come.
Two professionally trained archivists from History Associates visited the Chi Omega headquarters and conducted a survey to gather detailed information about the current state of the collection as well as the vision for the archives in the future. The team surveyed approximately 440 linear feet of papers, memorabilia, published volumes, audiovisual media, and photographs, capturing the volume, condition, formats, and storage methods. In addition, the team executed a high-level assessment of Chi Omega’s digital content to determine measures taken to preserve digital content.
Based on our observations, our team recommended several actions to improve the long-term preservation and accessibility of both physical and digital content, culminating in an Archives Action Plan. The plan outlined the recommended approach to establish governance, preserve and describe the collections, and celebrate the 125 year history of Chi Omega through a series of short, medium, and long-term actions.
Chi Omega Fraternity accumulated a large archival collection totaling 440 linear feet; 1.1 TB data – including:
- 288 linear feet of paper
- 60 linear feet of memorabilia
- 42 linear feet of published volumes
- 29 linear feet of audiovisual media
- 21 linear feet of photographs