The evil of the paper clip
Sadly I couldn’t make it to this week’s meeting so thanks to Nicole for this update….
We had a lively meeting to discuss MPLP. It was interesting to see that all those present did not find the suggestions the authors made to move from micro to macro description of collections controversial at all. Most agreed that listing collections roughly when they were accessioned was a common sense approach. High level rather than item level description was longstanding practice among those at the meeting even though more detailed cataloguing would be desirable, if there were ever enough staff resources available. Everyone recognised the evil of the common paper clip and admitted to the itch to remove it from archival documents. We contemplated why we don’t just scan everything in (not met with much enthusiasm) and what role volunteers play in archival cataloguing (diverging opinions). The subject of how to measure archivists’ work and what metrics could present an industry standard were more controversial – the time spent cataloguing a cubic foot or linear metre of material depended on the complexity of the collection and the other duties archivists perform every day as well.
We parted hungry as our ‘usual’ spot was occupied but resolved to return again to discuss the latest developments in FOI. A suggestion was to discuss the Information Commisioner’s article in the Guardian or something similar to be crowdsourced in due course.
Before then, of course, don’t forget that those of you who couldn’t make it to the pub will get your chance to twitter about MPLP on Monday 26th March 8-9pm. Please post any questions below and I will pull it all together the weekend before.