Course:3: Processing
Lesson:Lesson 5 – Processing: Putting It All Together
Topic:What’s Your Plan?

Whatís Your Plan?

By this point you should have a good idea of how processing will move forward. You should have a file containing background information and notes (which will be incorporated into your descriptive aids later) and a list of supplies. Itís a good idea to include an informal plan for the processing of the collection. This plan should include the arrangement scheme you have decided on, the reason for your decision, and preservation decisions. Itís important to get this down in writing in case you are interrupted and donít get back to the collection for some time, or in case another person takes over the processing for some reason.

Your informal plan for processing this collection might look something like this:


Arrangement will be chronological by exhibition dates. Arranging the collection chronologically would highlight the development of the artistís style and the development of her career (as demonstrated by the increasing prestige of the exhibit venues). Further, if a researcher knew the approximate date for a painting, a chronological order would make searching easier. 


We are considering creating an index to the collection based on venue location. Itís not clear at this point if this will be helpful to the researcher or not, so we will wait and watch how users use the records. If it seems further indexing would be helpful, we will create it later.


Photos are integral to the collection and will be maintained with the collection--not removed. They should be stored in archival paper folders.

Plan notes

Plan folder

This informal plan, your research notes, a list of necessary supplies, and any other information you have gathered or created during this review of the collection should be included in a processorís file. This file isnít a formal file, but consists of the information you need to use as you arrange, describe, and preserve the collection.