The OSA Catalog Manual is a cross-disciplinary guidance and instructional tool for the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives (OSA) staff at all skill levels, from skilled practitioners to part-time interns. The style of the manual aims at being clear and direct to ensure usability. This manual should be used in conjunction with training in archival processing and library cataloging, with a particular emphasis on archival arrangement and description and with training in original cataloging for library materials. To that end, all persons responsible for cataloging in the OSA systems, either the Archival Management System (AMS) or Koha, have a role and responsibilities associated with said role, which can be found in Appendix A. One particular responsibility that spans all roles is to produce high quality, accurate metadata, as these metadata will be the access points through which our researchers will access the collections through OSA’s integrated catalog. This responsibility will be accomplished through a familiarity with the institution’s internal policies found in Appendix B, the use of the AMS Metadata Style Guide, Appendix C, in the case of archival description, and the Koha User Manual and Cataloging Guide, Chapter 4 and Appendix D.

This manual is made up of three primary sections. The first section, chapters 1 and 2, relates to the archival workflow and processes, and the AMS. The second section of this manual, chapters 3 and 4, relates to the library’s workflow and processes and its cataloging system, Koha. The third section, the appendices, contains supporting documentation, such as internal policies and additional, more in-depth guidance.

The first section in Chapter 1 Archival Workflow briefly explains the archival hierarchy, from fonds to files and items. This section will support archival technicians and AMS users newer to archives. The second part of Chapter 1 Archival Workflow, sequentially details the steps that must be taken and performed at each stage of the archival workflow, from accession to reference services, for both analog and born-digital materials.

Chapter 2, Archival Management System User Guide also consists of two sections. The first section is a Quick Start Guide. This guide details what an AMS user will need to begin working in the system. The second section of the chapter, User Manual, illustrates how to use the AMS, from producing the Archival Structure, step 1, to creating links between the archival collections and the Digital Collections, should they exist, the last step.

The second section of this Catalog Manual, chapters 3 and 4, relate to the Library catalog and its users. Chapter 3 outlines the library workflow and Chapter 4, how to use the library metadata management system, Koha, including how to produce original catalog records, with sample cataloging frameworks for analog and digital content, and the adaptation of the international standards and resources.

The final section of this manual contains six appendices. These are OSA internal policies such as the Language and Transliteration policies, a Glossary list of technical terms used in the manual, a Naming Convention and a brief description of the Archival Digitization workflow.

It is expected that any person using the AMS or Koha will be very familiar with the contents of this manual. In addition to consulting it when there is a question of practice or procedure, if the answer is not found in the manual please consult with the appropriate OSA senior personnel who will be able to provide a suitable answer

Written by Emily Hanlon on Monday April 11, 2016 - updated on Tuesday August 30, 2016