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Archives and Special Collections Processing Manual

Staff and student manual for accessioning, processing, and developing finding aids for Ball State University Archives and Special Collections resources.


The Archives and Special Collections Processing Manual outlines processing procedures for archival collections using Archivists' Toolkit (AT), an open source archival data management system. Learn more about the Archivists' Toolkit. Archives and Special Collections follows descriptive standards presented in Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS v. 2.0). DACS is an output-neutral set of rules for describing organizational records, personal papers, and manuscript collections, and is endorsed by the Society of American Archivists.

The Archivists' Toolkit not only generates Accession, Resource, Subject, and Name records, it also creates Encoded Archival Description (EAD) finding aids in HTML and PDF formats. EAD is a non-proprietary de facto standard for the encoding of finding aids for use in a networked (online) environment. Learn more about EAD by visiting the Society of American Archivists' EAD Roundtable's Help Pages. For EAD tag libraries and crosswalk information visit the Library of Congress's Encoded Archival Description Version 2002 Official Site.

Use the Accessions, Resources, Subjects, and Names tabs to learn more about creating records in the Archivists' Toolkit.

The manual also provides guidelines for entering item level Dublin Core metadata for still images, including print photographs, negatives, and slides, in the Still Images database. For more complete information about our metadata standards, review Cardinal Core: Metadata Template and Instructions.

Use the Still Images tab to learn more about creating records in the Still Images database.

About Archives and Special Collections

The mission of Archives and Special Collections is to collect, preserve, and provide access to archival and printed materials that support the research and instructional needs of students, faculty, national and international scholars, and the general public.