Final Stages of the Project

The goal of the NHPRC grant was to have the DDN Collection minimally processed  by the end of 2012. I am happy to say that we will meet that deadline as we are finalizing the project. The database is complete with only a few touchups needed. All the boxes are processed and we are applying the final labels this week.  The collection is 2,000 linear feet of photos, news clippings, corporate papers, microfilm, and other formats. The DDN Collection will prove to be a huge asset for Wright State University  Special Collections and Archives and the community as a whole. A big thanks is due to all the undergrad students, grad students, and staff that helped us to reach this goal.

Last week we gave a presentation on the project to the Miami Valley Archives Roundtable (MVAR). We detailed the background of the collection as well as the processing and preservation issues we encountered.  Below are some slides from the presentation.


One the biggest issues we had with the collection were the labels on the folders. The adhesive used did not stand up to the test of time and they fall off with the slightest touch. Most photos were labeled on the reverse so we did not lose any information. However a labeled folder is always preferable per time constraints. How do we solve this? It is not advisable to place the label in the folder as the adhesive will migrate to the photo. Similarly, using a staple or even a plastic paper clip is not ideal. Needless to say we went through a lot of pencils writing the description on labels.



Each subseries presented it’s own challenges. The Journal Herald Numeric Series holds some of the worst folders folders in the collection. This is troubling as it also has some of the oldest photos of the collection. The description is not listed on the back of the photo. Once the top deteriorates, we no longer know what we are looking at. This was listed as a major priority in the preservation plan.

The quality of the folders can vary greatly. Shown here are folders in various stages of deterioration. The last folder is not typical for the collection but it does occur at a greater frequency when Associated Press proofs are directly against the folder.

In archives the concern is that acidic material will migrate onto an image and ruin the picture. However the DDN Collection breaks that norm as we see here. The photo is actually causing damage to the folder. The eerie shadow effect is common with black and white photos found in the collection.

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