|Course:||2: Acquiring Your Collections|
|Lesson:||Lesson 7: Course Conclusion|
In this course, we have focused on how vital a collection policy is to your historical records program--it provides the boundaries for the kinds of historical records you will collect. You should have created a good working draft of your own policy. You can work on this policy some more, polish it a bit, and then have it approved by your board or other governing body.
Once your policy is established, make sure your volunteers and staff members are aware of it and know how to use it.
We also have discussed how to decide what to accept into your program--appraisal is the archival term for this process. Appraisal decisions should be based on your collection policy, as well as on practical and political considerations for your program. You have looked at an appraisal worksheet and should now be able to incorporate a similar appraisal worksheet and process into your own work.
Once you have decided to accept material into your collection, you then have to legally transfer the records. We have discussed a few ways that you can do this, and provided you with examples and templates that you can use and adapt as much as you want to make them work for you.
Finally, we discussed what to do after you have physical custody of the records--accessioning them into your collections. Accessioning assures that you have a basic knowledge of what records you have custody of, their content, and their physical location in your facility.
All of these steps are essential functions for managing your historical records program wisely--using resources wisely, making good decisions, and keeping track of records once they are in your possession.
In the next course we will move on to more in depth information about how to work with records to make them more accessible and understandable to your users.