How do you accept the donation of a collection without adding it to the dreaded backlog?
Santa Clara University was honored to accept the donation of a collection of women religious in 2019, but wanted to ensure it could be immediately accessible to SCU students and avid researchers. Without necessary staffing, the University feared the collection would end up in the dreaded backlog. By collaborating with History Associates, the collection was able to be transferred, processed, ingested, and immediately accessible as part of the SCU Archives.
The Sisters of the Holy Family is a long-standing community of Roman Catholic women religious who have devoted their lives to mission and service in the San Francisco Bay Area and other regions throughout the West. Due to their eventual closing, the congregation selected the Archives and Special Collections at Santa Clara University as the permanent home for the collection of records, photographs, and artifacts documenting the Sisters’ daily life and work. SCU contracted History Associates for support in planning the successful transfer and ingest of the collection to make it research ready for the University.
Creating a Plan:
The project began with an initial survey to gather detailed information about the current state of the collection as well as the research requirements of the University. The data collected during this survey informed a project plan recommending minimal level processing of the collection to enhance the existing description and arrangement, and prepare the collection for long-term storage and streamlined access.
Transferring the Archives:
The collection was transported to History Associates’ storage facility in Rockville, MD, for all processing activities including rehousing, minimal arrangement, preservation, and cataloging. Our team worked to provide archival-quality housing for all papers, photographs, and artifacts, organizing the collection into a streamlined hierarchy. We then facilitated the transport of the collection to Santa Clara University in August 2019.
The collection was fully cataloged into ArchivesSpace, which is viewable online here: https://scu-aspace.libraryhost.com/repositories/6
This project was featured in Archival Outlook. Read the article here: https://mydigitalpublication.com/publication/?m=30305&i=601234&view=articleBrowser&article_id=3426304
The donation of the Santa Clara collection totals 344 linear feet.
- Entire timeline from survey to completion was 14 months. (6 months total to process)
- Folder-level cataloging of papers
- Item-level cataloging of artifacts