At the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) University Libraries, archival processing metrics are used to support value propositions, project proposals, project management, and strategic planning. When making data-driven decisions, UNLV Special Collections Technical Services staff strive to balance the art and science of archival processing metrics—to critically assess their data and look beyond the numbers for additional information that brings meaning to the metrics. In this research paper, the authors review processing metrics across the profession and place their own archival processing field data within the context of more than three decades of professional practice. They report and explore UNLV’s processing rates and the variables that potentially influence their rates. Learning from methods piloted during special projects, they reach toward a more streamlined, sustainable assessment practice. They also include a “work in progress”—an experimental framework that suggests core processing data points for UNLV with a second tier of optional data points that may add value to metrics in specific circumstances. The flexibility and extensibility of the framework give it the potential to serve as a model for other repositories.
Cyndi Shein is Head of the Special Collections and Archives Technical Services Department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas University Libraries, where she leads efforts to ensure the preservation, discoverability, and accessibility of archival materials in all formats. She previously held positions at the J. Paul Getty Trust Institutional Archives; the University of California, Irvine Libraries Special Collections and Archives; the University of California, Santa Barbara Libraries; and the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum Library and Archives. She holds a Master of Library and Information Science degree from San José State University (California). Sarah Jones is a Special Collections and Archives Technical Services Librarian at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas University Libraries. Her main responsibilities include the timely processing of archival materials in all formats to aid in online discoverability, managing gift serials and monographs, and stacks maintenance. She holds a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. Tammi Kim is a Special Collections and Archives Technical Services Librarian at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas University Libraries. She provides leadership in the area of web archives and ensures that incoming materials are accessioned and made accessible in a timely manner. She holds a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. Karla Irwin has been a Special Collections Technical Services Librarian at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas since April, 2014. She provides technical leadership in the management of archival materials, and supports collection management activities including the care and preservation of born-digital materials. Karla received her MLIS with an Archives Specialization from Drexel University in 2012.
Shein, Cyndi; Jones, Sarah R.; Kim, Tammi; and Irwin, Karla
"Balancing the Art and Science of Archival Processing Metrics and Assessment,"
Journal of Western Archives: Vol. 11:
1, Article 1.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/westernarchives/vol11/iss1/1