Duke Medical Center Archives Blog

Absolutely! Since you are working directly with the materials that you are packing, it’s easy to forget that not everyone can easily figure out what they are, and therefore think that there’s no need to prepare an inventory. It’s obviously correspondence from 1990 to 1991, right? Who needs a list? Unfortunately, the materials often aren’t as easy to identify as you might think, and a lack of an inventory can lead to archivists and researchers misinterpreting and misidentifying your files. This problem is easily prevented by preparing a list by individual folder title (or notebook title, etc.) or groups for each box. The list will be used for retrieving records in the future. Your office should keep a copy and email a copy to Medical Center Archives at time of transfer. Additional...

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The Medical Center Archives purchases acid-free boxes to store departmental records. Please contact the Medical Center Archives (383-2653 or email us) to request boxes. It usually takes two of these boxes to pack one full file drawer. You should fill the boxes to the point that the folders do not slouch, but can still be removed easily. Hanging folders do not fit well in the boxes and should be avoided. The Archives kindly asks that you return any unused boxes. A few tips for box and lid assembly: Follow the instructions printed on the box. You do not need any additional materials (including tape) to assemble the boxes. When assembling the lids, look for the word "IN" punched into one of the sides. This is the side that is meant to face the inside of the box. The lids tend to tear if...

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What does “Archive” mean?
Posted On: February 14, 2012 by Dawne Lucas

Don’t worry; I won’t start quoting definitions from The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. I do want to make you aware, however, of what archivists mean when they say the word “archive.” In today’s world of Gmail and online “Archive” buttons, it’s understandable to think that “archive” means “to save something for later, even if it’s just a short amount of time.” My job is “to identify, preserve and make available noncurrent records and papers of enduring value.”1 Noncurrent refers to records that you do not plan to access on a regular basis. A good rule of thumb is that the records should be at least three years old, although there are exceptions to this rule. It’s possible that you will need to refer to some files after you have sent them to the Archives, and that’s fine, but don’t send...

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