A clear understanding of the scope is the basis on which successful archival projects are built. Without it, archivists will struggle to deliver a project well.
Requirements for archival projects are different from goals and objectives. Requirements specify what the deliverables of the completed project must be. Requirements define the final product, service, or result. These are statements of quantitative criteria, each of which provides a measure of one or more of the project’s critical success factors. You can visualize the requirements when you consider the current condition of an organization and then examine its future state once the project is completed.
Goals and objectives are instrumental in strategic planning for archives because they turn the project’s vision into measurable targets. Goals are the ends towards which a project is directed; objectives are more detailed than goals and explain how goals will be accomplished. With both in hand, archivists build and support the vision for what they wish to achieve with their projects.
Projects should reduce costs, expand services, or increase efficiency—and be linked to these objectives from start to finish. Archivists must change their mindset from simply completing a project to strategically implementing the project with business objectives in mind.
When digitizing collections, archivists should always take legal and ethical rights into consideration and proceed with caution when documenting culturally sensitive content—with sympathy as to the context of how the materials were collected, and consideration in the manner in which such content is presented.
Sensitive content includes anthropological images, materials related to Native American communities or heritage, or any cultural property. Additionally, it includes items that involve people photographed against their will or in exploitative situations. Please read on for a list of important rights, restrictions and considerations for the ethical archivist.
The past two years for me has been a journey. I started my own consulting business, worked with a number of clients, and expanded my professional network substantially. I also shared some of the lessons I learned from working as a self-employed archivist. Here are some of my most popular posts on my career advice.
I've compiled some of my best post posts on archival management. I love being a consultant who can help organizations fund, set up, or expand their archives programs. Interested in learning more about what I do? Check out my services.
In the spirit of keeping it real, I'm sending readers a handy cheat sheet, Five Tips for Preserving Family Heirlooms, to shine a little light during a time that can be emotional for us all. "Real" is the key word, because as much as our lives are digital, the tangible world—the real—excites us and connects us as humans.