In Fall 2015, four fellow Introduction to Archives students and myself had the opportunity to practice our archival appraisal, arrangement and description skills while processing the John Boll Papers held by UW-Madison’s School of Library and Information Studies. Boll was a professor at SLIS from 1956 to 1992. Our group was given archival control over this collection after it was found SLIS storage. We produced an inventory and appraisal documents for SLIS along with the physically organized archival boxes and folders.
After the initial appraisal, we had to balance consideration of traditional archival principles like original order with the way users would search the collection and how potential researchers might discover relevant materials. We separated the collection Correspondence and Planning Materials for Courses, Blueprints, Press Clippings and several library photographs series. We researched the courses he taught to determine into what series the more difficult to place items should go. We organized these papers in a way that would be useful for not only SLIS faculty, but the library profession at large.