OCLC Research has ended work in this area.

The results of the 1998 Special Collections in ARL Libraries (.pdf: 619K/126 pp.) and the follow-up 2009 OCLC Research Survey of Special Collections and Archives (.pdf: 1.44MB/153 pp.) revealed that "hidden collections" are a challenge for archives and special collections. Usually, the term hidden collections brings to mind unprocessed and undescribed collections. But what about collections that are processed and described, but the collection descriptions are unavailable online? These off-line collection descriptions represent a special type of hidden collection, and also a special opportunity; the difficult intellectual work of arranging and describing collections is done and in theory, this is a last-mile problem which can might be tackled with a small suite of tools and technology.

Based on this, OCLC Research conducted a small scale experiment to explore the effectiveness of tools and techniques for bringing offline descriptions to the open Web. The goal of this project was to develop and evaluate a set of tools that allowed archives with paper-based finding aids to be represented with minimal collection descriptions in ArchiveGrid. The project failed to gain traction in the archival community and was ended.

Related blog posts:

Wanted: rough and ready text conversion methodologies

Wanted: your finding aids

Summarized: rough and ready text conversion methodologies

Most recent updates: Page content: 2015-11-19


Merrilee Proffitt

Team Members

Bruce Washburn

Originally part of the research theme:

Research Collections and Support