In 2005, Mark A. Greene and Dennis Meissner published an article urging archivists to reassess processing strategies to focus less on detailed arrangement and description and more on minimal efforts to provide access to researchers. In 2008, the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History in Atlanta, Georgia, was awarded a grant from the Council of Library and Information Resources to process the personal papers of Andrew J. Young. The grant stipulated the implementation of Greene and Meissner’s “more product, less process” (MPLP) techniques. This article describes the analysis and strategies behind the decisions made to utilize a variety of processing levels applied to the papers of Andrew J. Young, which cover more than fifty years of his public and private life. The project allowed archives staff to experiment with a range of methods to arrange and describe the collection, from minimal to item-level. Upon the completion of the project, the main lesson learned was that the best way to process a collection is not to adhere strictly to item-level or MPLP approaches but to bring together appropriate techniques from multiple approaches to create a suitable and long-term strategy.
This document was originally published by Association of Canadian Archivists in Archivaria. Copyright restrictions may apply.