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Numbering folders and adding item numbers to the finding aid 

When you are finished with the description in the finding aid, the finding aid has been reviewed by the current monthly reviewer, and you have made all the corrections to the finding aid, you are then ready to add item numbers to the finding aid and the folders. 

All the folders should now be in the exact final physical order (usually matching the intellectual order in the finding aid).

Add numbers to the finding aid itself using the macro (Oxygen numbering macro is part of the Houghton Macro Suite installed on all the MS section computers.)

You can now number the folders using  small removable sticky labels (you can get these from the Manuscript End-processing Assistant in the end-processing section). If you decide to print your own numbers, great care must be taken to use the REMOVABLE labels (Avery 6467); which say "removable ID labels" on them, and NOT permanent ones, which do not have text on them.

Labeling boxes and sending to End-processing Unit

Label the boxes. Removable multipurpose box labels for the boxes can be obtained from the Manuscript Processing Assistant. We are trying a new kind of label, Avery 6481, that comes only in various colors. The previous white ones stick too well to the surface of the box.

Boxes should have this information:

  1. Call number of the collection
  2. The item numbers contained within the box
  3.  The title of the collection
  4. The accession number

For example:  bMS Am 6789 (1) - (55)  /  John Smith papers   /  98M-45   / Box 1 of 50

Series information is not needed on the labels. It is the call number and item numbers (sometimes box/folder numbers) that are crucial -- this is how everything is located at Houghton.


There are then a number of steps to consider as you transfer the material to the End-processing unit:

For a small collection (2 boxes or under): 

  1. Fill-out the  Manuscript Collection and Single Item Tracking Form, (to see drop-downs, open in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC).
  2. Update the AEON record (with the permanent call number) to show the collection is moving to End-processing and print out a copy.   Tear the copy in half. 
  3. Send one half of the AEON form to the stacks to be a place-holder for the material (make sure it shows that it is now checked out to  End-processing) 
  4. If there is an AEON paper record shelved at a now obsolete number [such as MS Storage OR an accession number], pull that paper record and toss
  5. Deliver the boxes of the collection, the Tracking Form, and the other half of the AEON slip to the Manuscript End-processing unit (to the Manuscript Processing Assistant).

For a large collection (over 2 boxes):  

If the collection is too large to be moved into the End-processing unit, find a location in the stacks where the collection may be housed temporarily [usually at the end of the bMS Am stacks, sometimes dubbed our "manuscript end-processing holding area, P-4,5 and P-6,7"], and then do the following: 

  1. Fill-out the Manuscript Collection and Single Item Tracking Form. Include the temporary location (specify which holding aisle it is in, such as P-4,5 and P-6,7) on the Tracking Form as well as any MS Storage number with which the collection was formerly associated. Print out the form. 
  2. Update the AEON record to show the collection is moving to End-processing. It should also be noted in the AEON record that there is a temporary location (NOTE: When filling-out the AEON record with temporary location, put the information under "ADDITIONAL LOCATION" so that it prints out on TOP of the form. You should also specify which holding aisle it is in, such as P-4,5 and P-6,7). Print out a copy and tear the copy in half  
  3. Send one half of the AEON form to the stacks to be a place-holder for the material under the final call-number AND it also will point to the temporary location in the stacks 
  4. Note the temporary location in the finding aid.  
  5. Note the temporary location in the public $$z subfield in the MARC >852 field  
  6. Place the boxes in the temporary location in the stacks
  7. Deliver the Tracking Form and the other half of the AEON slip to the Manuscript End-processing unit (to the Manuscript Processing Assistant)

NOTE:  If a collection needs special handling (as in FAST end-processing for a digital order) and it is over 2 boxes, contact the Manuscript Processing Assistant before shelving in stacks and see if she/he wants the collection delivered to her/his office instead of placed in the stacks (to facilitate quick processing).  

END-PROCESSING: Eventually the collection will be end-processed by the staff in the Manuscript End-processing Section, and if there are additional corrections to be made to the finding aid or to the MARC record, you may be notified to make them.  Types of corrections that often need to be made are changes to the total box count, addition of <physloc> location designations to folders, minor typos in text that were formerly missed, changes to folder counts, missing materials, etc...  Often small corrections or HD notes are handled by the Senior Manuscript Cataloger, so as not to disturb your new project.

Examples of record-keeping details to make after end-processing:

  1. If the collection is sent to the Harvard Depository, additional notes have to be made in the MARC holdings record and in the finding aid 
  2. Occasionally there is detailed information about shelving that needs to be added to the item in the finding aid.  For display purposes, it isn't a good idea to put info in front of the item number (unless it is a simple <physloc> change) Long text should go into a <p> within the <note> field of the item. For example see 3. below. 
  3. Sometimes portfolio folders, or other types of containers from one collection are shelved with containers from other collections. In a case such as this these entries would be made:  

    a. In the finding aids for both collections, mark the item number:   <physloc>pf </physloc> (3)  Smith, John. Letter (photostat) to Jane Smith, 1845. 1 folder.  <note><p>Shelved together: pfMS Am 456 (3); pfMS Am 467 (2).  </p></note> 
    b. In the MARC records of both collections, create a PF holdings and mark the 852 $$zShelved together: pfMS Am 456 (3); pfMS Am 467 (2). 
    c. One of the finding aids and MARC records would contain the count for the 1 portfolio box; and the other then would be only 1 folder. 


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