Monthly Archives: April 2018

Broken Down: Our Biggest Preservation Project

Continuing our discussion of preservation during Preservation Week 2018, we would like to highlight the biggest preservation project we’ve taken on to date, our Estate Records. This is an ongoing project that includes multiple step rehousing, removing materials that will further deteriorate the records, and finally scanning what we can so that we no longer have to physically access the oldest records.

What we’ve done is broken down each step in the images below:

Step #1 – Rehouse the files from wooden shelving units to cardboard boxes. This step was done years ago. It is always best to store like items together, so moving paper records from lacquered wood boxes was the first step of preserving them in their current condition.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Step #2 – Refile the records from their original accordion style non archival quality folder to new flat archival quality folders. This doesn’t seem like it would make much of a difference but the ideal way to store paper is flattened and in paper based folders that are designed to absorb some of the acidity of the paper to keep it from deteriorating further. While we are transitioning the documents we are also flattening them as best we can, we let time and the environment they are stored in do the rest.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Step #3 – Digitize as many of these records and make them available to search online. This is the final and most time intensive step in the process because of the fragility of the records and we don’t want to expose them to more light than necessary. This step helps people who are unable to visit the archives access these historic records and if they are needing copies of the record all we have to do is hit print, as opposed to copying it and exposing it to light multiple times.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I refer to this as the largest project based on the sheer volume of records we have. We are duplicating these efforts for many of the other records we house including our historic court records and smaller collections within each county department.

If you would like to view the digitized images we have uploaded thus far, go over and check out our website. We will be uploading additional images as they become available, so if there is a record you would like to view and there are no images please contact us direct. Warren County Old Common Pleas Estate Packets Index

 

 

Advertisements

Preservation vs. Conservation

These words are often used interchangeably. Here at the archives we use these two methods together to provide the best future for the records that we maintain. To preserve would be to keep the records in their current state and prevent them from further deterioration, which is the primary method of maintenance that we use. To conserve many of these items to their original state is unfortunately just not time conducive and it’s costly. Our department, along with other county departments have taken on some large scale preservation and conservation projects.

I wanted to provide you with examples of both so you can see how the two can be different.

Preservation Efforts to Protect Original Volumes

Here are examples of original volumes that we have that have had no preservation efforts vs. volumes that have had a cover applied to them. Unlike conserving a book and taking it back to its original form, the cover simply preserves the book so that no further harm comes to it.

IMG_6328IMG_6329

Conservation Efforts to Restore 1856 & 1867 Historic Warren County Maps

The Records Center received the two wall maps pictured below in deplorable condition. Had we tried to utilize them for any purpose we would only have done further damage. Due to their historic significance, it was important to hire a conservator to come in and try to restore the maps to their original condition (or as close as the damage would allow). Unfortunately we do not have any images of what they looked like prior to work being done, but we have been told that they were filthy, folded up, and falling apart in pieces. All of the work done on them meets archival standards, including the framing.

IMG_6330

1856 Warren County Wall map

IMG_6331

1867 Warren County Wall map


pre·serve 1. maintain (something) in its original or existing state.

April 22nd – April 28th is National Preservation Week 2018! We obviously take preservation very serious as archivists, so this week we will be sharing some of the projects we have worked on or are working on. These projects reflect how our department helps to contribute to keeping past and future Warren County records around as long as possible. In addition we will have a special edition of our blog post Friday that will help you learn how to better preserve your personal records!

pw_slide1


It’s Records and Information Management Month!

Did you know that April is Records and Information Management (RIM) Month? Here in Warren County we promote proper records management all year long, not just in April. Now, if you’re scratching your head trying to figure out what that means, don’t worry! You’re not alone.

RIM month was started nationally in 2002 to promote records management standards and best practices while also emphasizing the importance of organized information. The archives and preservation side of the Records Center is much more visual to the public, whereas records management is much more behind the scenes, but just as important! As the county records manager*, outside of managing the department, records and information management is a big part of my responsibilities.


Records storage temporary storage for records

 

We keep all kinds of records for county departments. A record is defined as any document, device, or item, regardless of its form, that serves to document the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of an office.  Each record is recognized on a retention schedule, commonly known as an RC-2. This schedule then determines how long a record should be kept depending on whether it has administrative, fiscal, legal or historical value.

The county follows a general retention schedule (GRS) and each department has their own RC-2. These are especially important because not every record should or needs to be kept long term. By staying current with departments’ retention schedules, we save valuable tax payer dollars through the proper destruction of records after they have hit their retention period. In turn this reduces operating expenses and cuts back on the cost of unnecessary storage of inactive records.


Certificate of Destruction for Sheriff’s Department Records in 2017

Once records are ready for destruction, a certificate of destruction (RC-3) or court order for disposal  is required to be submitted to the Records Center for most items. Once this happens, then proper destruction of records can happen, which we conduct onsite.  All of these steps are instrumental in order to keep the flow of records and information management moving.

 


Onsite Records Destruction in March 2018

 

*Guest blogger: County Records Manager, Jen Haney Conover