Heading Towards the Finish

This week I have finished up processing the collection. Next week I will begin the task of creating the finding aid using ArchivesSpace. 

A finding aid helps users in accessing and navigating the collection, and provides information about the contents within the collection 

If you go to the Online Archive of California, click on an institution and browse through the finding aids, you will see the variety of finding aids. You will also notice that although every collection has a finding aid, the content in the finding are never the same. 

This is because every collection was created in a unique way, every collection will have a different arrangement and description. Depending on how a collection was created, the arrangement and description for one collection may not necessarily work for another collection. The finding aid is there to help researchers understand a collection’s specific arrangement, and find information within a collection that will be relevant to their research. The finding aid will also provide information on who created the collection and how the collection ended up at a certain institution. 
For example, the finding aid for the Roland Jackson Papers would have a biography about him. Which would say something along the lines of: 
Roland Jackson was a professor at CGU from 1970 to 1995. In the 1980s, he expanded the music program, established a Ph. D. program in musicology, composition, performance, conducting, and church music. He also founded the scholarly journal Performance Practice Review. As a music historian, Roland’s research, teachings, and publications ranged, from computer music studies, early music, 19th century music, film music, music analysis, and performance practice. The collection contains correspondences and
personal papers related to his personal life and academic career.

In addition, the finding aid will provided information about access, publication rights, accruals, processing information, and arrangement. Overall the finding is meant to provide as much information about the collection as possible.