Retrospective Accessioning

By Chela Scott Weber

Retrospective accessioning draws a distinction between types of backlogs - those that are merely unprocessed, and those that have not been accessioned. For many institutions, accessioning is a function that has been managed variably over time, which leads to challenges in managing collections individually and an inability to understand and manage a repository’s holdings in toto. Retrospective accessioning remedies inconsistent past practice by holistically identifying and attending to gaps in accessioning practice and establishing baseline controls and documenting understanding for backlogs of un- and under-accessioned collections, confirming our stewardship of them and making them easier to holistically manage. Originally published in Archival Accessioning, “Retrospective Accessioning” is designed to help you think through what an appropriate retrospective accessioning project might look like in your institution. 

Read the preprint (pdf)

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Suggested citation

Weber, Chela Scott. 2021. “Retrospective Accessioning.” In Archival Accessioning, edited by Audra Eagle Yun, 129–38. Chicago: Society of American Archivists. OCLC Research Chapter Preprint.

Originally published in:
Eagle Yun, Audra (ed.). 2021. Archival Accessioning. Chicago: Society of American Archivists.