Case Study - University Records, addition (UCSD)

Office of the Vice-Chancellor, Student Affairs, Records

I. Overview

Collection type:

Administrative files of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Extent and scope:

Entire collection is comprised of 76.2 linear feet of administrative files related to student life, student committees and activities, facilities, and campus student services.


Records are sent to the University Archivist at the whim of the Administrative office.

II. Approach


The first accession of this collection was processed in 1987, with detailed description done at the folder level. Additional accessions processed in 2000, 2001, 2005, and 2011 are all arranged differently, based on the administrative assistant’s filing system.

An MPLP approach was taken on the administration files received & processed after 1987. Materials arrived in records cartons, which contained files organized by the office’s administrative assistants. Files received after 2000 were labeled and arranged following a university developed numeric filing system. The 2011 addition came with a detailed index.


            1. Surveyed the materials.

                   a. When available, compared a supplied inventory to physical files to confirm the academic years represented.

                   b. Determined processing plan – retain arrangement with files grouped by academic year and numeric filing system.

            2. Reboxed into acid-free records cartons.

                  a. Original folder titles were retained. No preservation treatments occurred.

                  b. Original folders were stamped with department stamp. Collection number, box, and folder numbers were added by students.

            3. Additions were added to the existing finding aid in AT.

                 a. With each addition, accession information was added to the Scope & Content Note and the Abstract was updated.

                 b. Box level lists were made with first & last folder in each box listed in the folder title field.


The EAD finding aid:


Has not yet been used.

III. Processing rate

2011 accession took one processor and one student approximately 2 weeks to complete.

IV. Pros and Cons


  • Using MPLP, with description at the box level, the addition was processed quickly.
  • In some additions, existing indexes allowed processor to use minimal description and should allow researchers to locate materials within the accession.


  • No consistency within the finding aid, which may be confusing to researchers.
  • Minimal description makes keyword searching less reliable.
  • File order is dictated by administrative staff. As staff changes, arrangement of future accessions may change. Current processing plan will need to be re-evaluated with each addition.

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

Last updated: April 10, 2013