Events Calendar/

Cataloging 101 Workshop

Cataloging 101

Support for the workshop provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency, through the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Vermont Department of Libraries. Additional support provided by the Office of the Secretary of State and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) and anonymous donors.

This workshop series will provide an overview of cataloging objects and archival materials, with an emphasis on practical advice and hands-on practice.  Good, better, and best approaches will be explained, and this workshop is suitable for people with a wide range of familiarity and experience with describing things.  The first two modules will be virtual presentations, with ample time for questions and discussion.  The third and fourth modules will be in-person, hands-on sessions held at the Vermont History Center in Barre, VT.

The morning in-person sessions have been filled, afternoon hands-on sessions have been added!!

Module 1 (virtual): June 13, 10:00 -11:30 am
Instructors: Erica Donnis & Rachel Onuf

This session will cover what we mean when we talk about cataloging, how it relates to other collections-related activities at an organization, what to consider before you begin cataloging, systems and standards, and using catalog records.

Module 2 (virtual): June 16, 10:00-11:30 am
Instructors: Erica Donnis & Rachel Onuf

This session will discuss how objects and archival materials may be cataloged differently, item-level versus collection-level description, how to create basic and more detailed catalog records, and cataloging pitfalls to avoid.

Module 3 (in-person):  June 20, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm or 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Instructor: Erica Donnis

This session will cover hands-on cataloging of objects.  After a brief review of what to consider before beginning to catalog, participants will have an opportunity to catalog several different types of objects, compare catalog records, and discuss. Please note- the morning session is currently full. 

Module 4 (in-person):  June 27, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm or 1:00 to 3:00 pm
Instructor: Rachel Onuf

This session will cover hands-on cataloging of archival materials and will follow the same format as the previous module.  Examples of collection-level catalog records will be shown, but participants will practice item-level cataloging.  After a brief review of what to consider before beginning to catalog, participants will have an opportunity to catalog several different types of archival materials, compare catalog records, and discuss. Please note- the morning session is currently full. 

You are welcome to sign up for the entire series or for selected sessions. Please do not register for just the in-person sessions unless you plan to attend at least one virtual session or received permission from VHS. In-person sessions will be limited to 20 people/session. We will be following Vermont Department of Health guidelines at the time of the workshop for COVID-19 as it relates to masking, vaccinations, & social distancing. We will communicate those guidelines with registered participants the week before each in-person session.

These workshops are FREE to staff and volunteers at Vermont organizations, thanks to support by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency, through the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Vermont Department of Libraries. Additional support provided by the Office of the Secretary of State and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) and anonymous donors. If you are not affiliated with a Vermont organization, please contact Eileen at eileen.corcoran@vermonthistory.org for information on costs & availability to attend.

Register here

About the Instructors
Erica Donnis leads collections management, assessment, curatorial, and exhibition projects for museums, archives, libraries, and historical societies. She has more than twenty years' experience working with large and small collecting organizations as an employee and a consultant. As Special Collections Director at Champlain College, Erica is responsible for arrangement and description, preservation of analog and digital materials, primary source instruction, exhibitions, and management of an annual local history event. Her recent independent consulting projects include curating Rail City, a permanent exhibition for the Saint Albans Museum; collections assessments for Dog Mountain, the Chateaugay Historical Society, and the Sheldon Museum; and a historic furnishings plan for the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, for which she was a coauthor. Based in Burlington, Vermont, Erica is a graduate of the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture (now American Material Culture).

Rachel Onuf is the Director of the Vermont Historical Records Program, based at the Vermont State Archives & Records Administration. She serves as a Director of the Collections Care & Conservation Alliance, a co-lead of the Vermont Arts & Culture Disaster and Resilience Network (VACDaRN), and as a member of the Vermont Suffrage Centennial Alliance and the NEDCC Advisory Committee. Rachel received her BA from Swarthmore College, an MA in Library & Information Science from the University of Michigan and an MA in American History from the University of Virginia. Past jobs include serving as Roving Archivist for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Director of Archives at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. She taught as an adjunct for Simmons College School of Library and Information Science and worked as a consultant for many years. She lives on a sidehill farm near the village of East Orange.

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