Practical Technology for Archives

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[Excerpt] In 2011, the Senator John Heinz History Center embarked on an NHPRC-funded project to minimally process nearly 600 collections from its backlog. For each collection, a finding aid, an EAD file, and a MARC record would be produced. We planned to have Archivists’ Toolkit installed by the start of the grant, which would have facilitated the production of the three types of documents from the same data source. However, in the lead up to the project, it was determined that the organization’s technical infrastructure could not support the software without an increase in resources.

With just a short period of time before work was to begin, I turned to Microsoft Access as an alternative. Starting off with a blank table, I created fields for all of the descriptive and administrative information we planned to collect, ending up with 55 fields.