Ready or Not, Here They Come: Reducing the Need to Access Unprocessed Materials through Mass Digitization of University Archives at Loyola University New Orleans
Loyola University New Orleans’ University Archives are a largely unprocessed collection of institutional records. Despite this, the collection continues to be used by researchers both inside and outside of the University. Researchers are encouraged to access information about the university in the University Publications, particularly in our newly digitized yearbooks, bulletins, and newspapers. The yearbooks and bulletins were digitized by Lyrasis and are hosted by the Internet Archive, and Special Collections & Archives (SC&A) has seen phenomenal numbers in terms of online use for these items. The Maroon newspaper was just digitized by Backstage Library Works and is available in the Louisiana Digital Library, a CONTENTdm collection. SC&A is now undergoing its first attempt at minimal processing through large-scale digitization of the University Photographs Collection. Rather than attempting to impose an organization on the tens of thousands of photos—most of which have no identifying information—the photos are digitized and then rehoused in the order in which they’re found, assigned an identifying number, and the digital objects added to the Louisiana Digital Library CONTENTdm collection. In addition, SC&A is attempting to crowd-source description of the photos from the Loyola community to enrich item metadata. Loyola is currently celebrating its Centennial. The University Archives detail the past one hundred years not only of the school’s history but also the histories of New Orleans, the Jesuits, and school life. This presentation will include a brief review of digitization and minimal processing literature, an analysis of the project thus far, and plans for the future.