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Archival Collections Management

Program documentation on archival technical services at New York University

About Archival Collections Management

We administer programs for three major areas of support for the NYU Special Collections: accessioning, arrangement and description, and web archiving. At all stages of the records life cycle, ACM works with Special Collections staff to acquire, manage, and make accessible archival materials in both analog and digital formats, from traditional paper records, photographs, audio recordings, and moving images, to email messages, word processing documents, and archived websites. ACM reports through Knowledge Access and Resource Management Services (KARMS), and works closely with the Barbara Goldsmith Preservation and Conservation Department to prepare NYU's archival holdings for access and ensure their long-term care. In addition, we collaborate with the Digital Archivist in Digital Library Technology Services to support born-digital preservation of all archival materials. Members of the department also provide digitization project management and administer systems for archival management, such as ArchivesSpace and the Special Collections Discovery Portal.

The image below represents the archival records lifecycle. It depicts six circles of equal size, in a larger circle, each with an arrow pointing to the next circle. Each circle is a different color.  The cycle begins at the top and continues clockwise: creation, acquisition, appraisal, accession, arrangement and description, and access.

Archival records lifecycle: creation, acquisition, appraisal, accession, arrangement and description, and access.  See longer description in body of text.

On This Guide

Pages on this guide provide brief introductions and links to ACM's manuals, policies, forms, templates, and other documentation that we hope will be useful both within and outside of NYU Libraries. In addition to the resources in this guide, ACM also uses Airtable for workflow management and Asana for project management. Forms for submitting requests to ACM or containing collection information are accessible to Special Collections staff only through the Libraries wiki. While we have pages for the major programmatic areas of the department, Accessioning, and Arrangement and Description, and many of our most-referenced policies and documents are found under Cross-Program.

Mission and Values

Our work is grounded in archival theory and the Libraries' Mission and Values. As archivists, we work to responsibly steward the collections in our care and enable equitable access to them through transparency in practice, efficiency in service, an open-minded application of professional best practices, and collaborating with our colleagues in Special Collections in their work to build the collections and support their use in research, teaching, and learning. Our work is access-driven, and we consider users and use of the materials in all stages of our work.

We accomplish this by:

  • Embracing change--technological, professional, and otherwise.
  • Striving to be flexible and open-minded in our work.
  • Collaborating both inside and outside the department, with shared ownership of projects.
  • Encouraging reflection and connecting theory to practice.
  • Fostering a supportive team environment and a culture of mutual respect and professionalism in which archivists and librarians can build new skills, value working together, and understand the benefits of doing so.