Case Study - Processing with Student Assistants (UCD)

Submitted by Sara Gunasekara, Department of Special Collections, University of California, Davis

David A. Bainbridge Papers

I. Overview

The David Bainbridge Papers contain manuscripts and published versions of his writings which primarily focus on sustainability, solar energy, agroforestry, and  restoration ecology. A  focus of the collection is building houses and other structures from straw bales as an environmentally sound approach.  The writings include book chapters, articles, proceedings, research reports, notes, abstracts, book reviews, and selected presentations authored or jointly authored by Bainbridge from 1971-2011. Also included are photographs and slides of straw bale buildings.

II. Approach

This collection came well organized from the donor in two accessions. The first accession of four linear feet contained Bainbridge's writings which he had organized chronologically by publication date. We kept Bainbridge's organization for this series. A student assistant refoldered the materials (the donor gave us money for archival supplies for this collection) and then typed the folder titles into EAD. Some folder titles contain more data than others.

The Collections Manager added front matter to the finding aid. The front matter was largely taken from Bainbridge's vita.
A second accession of 1.2 linear feet of photographs was recently received from Bainbridge. These were also well organized so we maintained his structure and identification notes on the folders.  Normally, we would have submitted photographs for detail work by the photo archivist, but since the photographs were specifically all on straw bale buildings and the collection was small, we treated the photographs as a series in the manuscript collection.  The student assistant typed folder titles using Bainbridge's description into EAD.

III. Processing Rates

                We didn't capture this data.

IV. Pros and Cons

The collection was a small, subject focused collection and came well organized from the donor. Because of that, we were able to use a student assistant to do most of the work on the collection under the guidance of the Collections Manager.

Some of the descriptions of the photographs are not that intuitive, additional "massaging" of the series or subseries might have provided a bit more clarity. However, researchers looking for information about specific straw bale projects such as the Tree of Life Nursery will still be able to locate citations to specific projects in the finding aid.  This is a recently posted collection, if there is a lot of interest in the collection, follow-up work might be warranted to further describe the images.

Document owner: Polina Ilieva. Version 3.0. Last reviewed: August 20, 2012

Last updated: April 10, 2013