Workshop: More Product, Less Process

From MARAC, 3/1/2012:

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) is sponsoring, “More Product, Less Process” on May 1-2, 2012, from 9:00am-4:30pm, at the Presbyterian Historical Society, 425 Lombard St. Philadelphia.  The registration fee is $150 for the two-day workshop.

About the Workshop:

Holly Mengel and Courtney Smerz, of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries’ (PACSCL) Hidden Collections Processing Project will lead a two-day “Minimal Processing Boot Camp” during which attendees will learn minimal processing strategies first introduced in Mark Greene’s and Dennis Meissner’s 2005 article, “More Product, Less Process” and adapted by Holly and Courtney to accommodate a greater variety of collections.

Attendees will learn how to survey and identify appropriate candidates for MPLP and develop a processing plan. There will also be a hands-on session during which participants will minimally process a collection and create a basic finding aid. Minimal processing or “MPLP” is a great way to efficiently provide access to collections, but it is important to understand that processing compromises are made. The implications of minimal processing, both good and bad, will be addressed, as well as many lessons learned from the PACSCL/CLIR “Hidden Collections” Processing Project. This workshop is appropriate for beginning archivists, as well as experienced archivists interested in learning more about establishing an MPLP processing program in their repositories.

About the Instructors:

Holly Mengel and Courtney Smerz, managed the 2009-2011 PACSCL “Hidden Collections Processing Project.” Funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), the project processed and made accessible 125 collection in 23 Philadelphia-area archival repositories. Holly and Courtney supervised a project team of 4-8 graduate student processors, and developed “Archival Boot Camp” to train processors in minimal processing strategy. Employing MPLP methodologies, their project team processed 4,000 linear feet in just over two years. In addition to processing 20th century business and institutional records, Holly and Courtney successfully adapted MPLP to effectively process collections of all types, including family and personal papers, and ranging in date from the 17th to the 21st centuries.

To register, visit to register online or download a mail-in registration form.

Academy of Certified Archivist credits available upon request

For additional information about the workshop, contact: Brian Keough, 518.437.3931 or