moving archival collections

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At the July meeting of Archivists Being Awesome, Maureen Skorupa talked about moving archival collections. She writes: When facing an archival move, there are many factors to consider. I've provided some questions to help stimulate the planning process, and detailed some of the things that I've found helpful in preparing to move five small archival collections to a brand new facility in a sixth location. Though each archive is unique, the single biggest thing you can do to ensure a smooth move is plan ahead. There are several library/archives specific movers out there but ultimately it depends on the level of financial support, organizational assistance, and the needs of your individual archival collection. I've found that throughout my moving project it's been wonderful to reiterate to non-archival professionals what archival records are and how important they are, and to engage a broader audience. I've also learned a lot about the non-archival world myself, like preparing a request for payment, hosting a bidder's meeting, and dealing with insurance companies.

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  • 1. Moving Archival Collections

2. Relocation Why move? What kind of move? Will you be moving, too? Who is in charge? On what scale? Access: Will your collections remain open to researchers? 3. My Move Small scale archival move Challenge: five collections, five locations Part of a larger structure; little fish, big pond New location: new archivist in charge Artifacts and reference materials 4. Sisters of Mercy 5. Steps: the Planning Process Planning Research Request For Proposal Bidders Meeting Selecting a Mover Packing Arrival Celebrating a job well done 6. Planning How much will it cost?, (do you have funding?) Whos in charge? How much stuff? What kinds of stuff? Will you have cooperation of your organization? When does it need to happen? Establish Timeline The early bird gets the worm! 7. Be Flexible 8. Our Plans Mercy Archivists have been collaborating since 2003 Selected moving company in April of this year Access : Mid-Atlantic former regional collections will beclosed until the move has been completed in October 2012 Cost is a factor move must fall in fiscal year 2012-2013 Small scale move approx 1500 linear feet, artifacts COO has been a great ally Unprocessed collections 9. Research Where do you begin? What kinds of movers are out there? How much will you need to move? Measuring your collections Issues of ownership, donor agreements Insurance concerns SAA Listserv recommendations, experiences Moving Archives: The Experiences of Eleven Archivists, Edited by JohnNewman and Walter Jones. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2002. x,124 pp.Available from the Society of American Archivists, $30.00 members, $35.00 non-members. ISBN 0-8108-4500-8. 10. Our ResearchHelpfulLibrary/Archival Movers SAA Listserv Clancy-Cullen Moving Other Sisters of Mercy SystemsArchivists Hallett Movers Interviews: Made William B. Meyerinitial contact with 10- National Library12 companies Relocations Mercy Heritage Center 11. Request For Proposal A request for proposal (RFP) is issued at an early stage in aprocurement process, where an invitation is presented for suppliers, oftenthrough a bidding process, to submit a proposal on a specific service. TheRFP process brings structure to the procurement decision and is meant toallow the risks and benefits to be identified clearly up front. Draw up Project specifications: Company Experience Company Project Team Route Planning Security Insurance and Risk Management Pricing References 12. Our RFP Cover Letter; Explain who you are, your archives andyour organization How will company respond?Timeliness, professionalism Best fit for our organization, in accordance withmission? What are our no-compromise, issues? 13. Bidders Meeting After initial interviews with companies, invite severalto a Bidders Meeting with all the important players As per our COO: the meeting is for them to ask youclarifying questions Good way to get a feel for the company: Competent?Giving you their undivided attention? 14. Selecting a Moving Company Proposals have come in, how do they look? Best fit? Cost? Feasibility? Side by side comparison Conduct second round of interviews if necessary Throw out top and bottom contenders Always keep your options open 15. So Far so Good We went with a non-library moving company Good price, willing to work with us, cater to ourparticularities Will provide packing age and physical nature ofmove is a factor Other Sisters of Mercy communities haverecommended the company and staff Satisfies our mission 16. Things Ive Learned You cant plan early enough Enlist help COO has been invaluable dealing withprofessional companies, outside world Comfort is a factor: have to meet those involved What is best for your collection? Anticipate using markers for labeling cartons of packedboxes

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